Advertisement

NFL requires infectious disease protocols at team facilities

NFL teams must provide masks and screen players and staff members daily as part of the league's protocols for a return to team facilities amid the coronavirus pandemic. Photo courtesy of the Miami Dolphins
NFL teams must provide masks and screen players and staff members daily as part of the league's protocols for a return to team facilities amid the coronavirus pandemic. Photo courtesy of the Miami Dolphins

June 9 (UPI) -- The NFL has issued protocols to teams for when they return to their facilities amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Commissioner Roger Goodell issued the protocols in a memo on Sunday. The protocols are listed in sections of access, physical distancing, facility and equipment cleaning and disinfectant, food service, personal protective equipment and hygiene, compliance with protocols and education on the spread and prevention of infection.

Advertisement

"The NFL and NFLPA will strictly enforce compliance with the terms for this club facility protocol," the memo said.

The league has not publicly stated when teams can have minicamps. The NFL and players' union are in talks to allow certain players to return to facilities on a limited basis before June 26.

RELATED Shaquille O'Neal urged Saints to remain unified after Drew Brees comments

NFL team facilities were permitted to reopen May 19, but no players were allowed at the facilities unless they needed treatment. Coaches were allowed to return to facilities Friday. The league closed all team facilities March 25 in response to the pandemic. Teams have conducted virtual meetings due to the closures.

Each team is required to submit a copy of their infectious disease plan to the league office. Players and team staff must wear masks at all times while at the facility, unless they can't wear a mask due to athletic activity. Teams must provide an adequate supply of surgical and cloth masks for players and staff. They also are required to provide goggles, full face shields, gowns and gloves for medical staffs.

Those at the facility must replace surgical masks and wash cloth masks daily. Players must rotate team-provided cloth masks every three days.

RELATED Minnesota Vikings star RB Dalvin Cook holding out in pursuit of new contract

Access will be restricted to players and staff at practice and stadium fields and sidelines, locker rooms, training and weight rooms, medical areas, meal and meeting rooms and lounge areas. All players and staff who have access to the areas must undergo daily screening and testing before entrance.

Teams also must create protocols for players and staff to maintain 6 feet of distance from one another when at facilities. Locker rooms must be configured to permit 6 feet of space between players where possible.

Teams must disinfect helmets, shoulder pads and other equipment after every practice and game. Team meetings must be conducted virtually when possible. Teams are required to hold in-person meetings outdoors when possible. Meetings that do not allow for physical distancing are prohibited.

RELATED MLB players say team owners 'depriving America of baseball'

The league and players' union can conduct unannounced inspections as part of the plan. Players have been asked to notify the union if they notice potential protocol violations. Teams will receive a monthly safety certification throughout the 2020 season.

Latest Headlines