COVID-19 testing in the NFL: How it works

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Laney Spradlin, Reporter

Dyou ever wonder how the NFL season would play out during COVID-19 and how all teams would be tested?  

Now, as you may have heard, many teams in the NFL have had positive COVID tests, some of these players being from the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. Jump back to a few weeks ago and teams were not playing and postponing games due to COVID. Now the NFL is making sure every staff member and player have a negative COVID test result. This can be done by a nasal swab or the antibody testing, according to NFL Operations.  

The nasal swab has become a part of NFL players daily routinesPlayers are also asked basic questions such as: any symptoms in the last 48 hours—any fever, cough, or sore throat, as reported by NFL Operations. 

If a player develops symptoms, they must contact the head athletic trainer and then immediately isolate themselves in a room, wheretheir maskis not taken off. Once it is deemed safe, the player gets sent home and must quarantine, NFL Operations states. When a player tests positive they must be away from the facility for a minimum of ten days. Even after they come back, they cannot immediately  return to play. 

Players must clear a three-day protocol test under the medical staff’s watch. They are also required to complete a seven-day physical test to make sure their lungs arehealthy and the players are not winded. 

The NFL has taken other precautions to keep their staff and players safe. For instance, everyone is required to wear a mask when entering and leaving practices/workouts, as well as games. During games all coaches are required to wearing a mask as well. 

As the season continues, teams and sports fans will see how effective these safety measures work to keep players and staff safe.