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NFLPA Asks Players To Not Workout Together Due To ‘Increase In COVID-19 Cases’

A detailed view of Tampa Bay Buccaneers helmets on the team bench ahead of the NFL game between Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 13, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NFL Players Association asked that “no players should be engaged in practicing together in private workouts” due to “the increase in COVID-19 cases in certain states.”

On June 17, CNN reported that 10 states were seeing their highest average of daily new COVID-19 cases since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

NFLPA medical director, Dr. Thom Mayer, issued an advisory statement to the league’s players on Saturday, June 20.

“To all players,” Mayer began his statement.

“Please be advised that it is our consensus medical opinion that in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases in certain states that no players should be engaged in practicing together in private workouts. Our goal is to have all players and your families as healthy as possible in the coming months,” the medical director continued. “We are working on the best mitigation procedures at team facilities for both training camps and the upcoming season, and believe that it is in the best interest of all players that we advise against any voluntary joint practices before training camp commences.”

NFL players test positive for COVID-19

The NFLPA’s statement was released shortly after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers confirmed reports that some of the team’s players had tested positive for COVID-19.

Within the last week, members of the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, and San Francisco 49ers rosters reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus disease.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently said that is the coronavirus pandemic has a second wave, “football may not happen” in 2020.

Fauci recently told CNN that football players would need to play “in a bubble” environment and be tested on a regular basis if football is going to be played this year.

“Unless players are essentially in a bubble — insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day — it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall,” Fauci said. “If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year.”

NFL’s Return

In early June, coaching staffs were allowed to return to work at team facilities.

The NFL and NFLPA currently working to finalize protocols for players to return to team facilities for training camp in July.

The 2020 NFL season is currently scheduled to kick-off when the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans on Thursday, September 10.

Coronavirus Resources

How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

How To Get Help

If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.

Additional Resources

If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at consumerprotection@utah.gov.

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