Rtl today – American football: NFL announces new Covid protocol, moves to “targeted” tests

The NFL said on Saturday it would introduce a new Covid-19 testing protocol following an increase in cases mainly involving vaccinated players that forced the league to postpone three games.

In a note sent to teams following discussions between the NFL and the NFL Players Association, the league said it will now adopt a “more targeted testing” plan following this week’s wave of infections.

Under the new regime, only unvaccinated players and individuals showing signs of Covid-19 infection will undergo mandatory testing.

Under current rules, teams must test vaccinated players at least once a week, a requirement that will be removed under the new guidelines. Instead, the league will subject asymptomatic players to random testing for the remainder of the season.

“The intensive protocols implemented last week and the rescheduling of three games were designed to stop transmission of the virus and play this week’s games safely,” the NFL and NFLPA said in a joint statement on Saturday.

“After this weekend’s games, we have agreed to implement a new set of protocols, which will include a more focused testing plan, more flexibility for players to virtually attend meetings and also an option to opt out of meetings. high risk players for the remainder of the season. “

More than 100 NFL players have tested positive for Covid-19, a dramatic increase in cases of the virus that is occurring as the Omicron variant spreads around the world.

According to US media, however, most of the cases involved vaccinated players with mild or no symptoms of the disease – a fact prompting a rethinking of the testing protocol.

The NFL postponed Saturday’s game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Cleveland Browns to Monday.

Sunday’s meeting between the Washington football team and the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Seattle Seahawks game against the Los Angeles Rams have been postponed until Tuesday.

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