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NFL to end daily COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated players

NFL to end daily COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated players
According to the NFL's most recent COVID-19 data, 95% of players and close to 100% of staff members are vaccinated. File Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Ahead of this weekend's divisional round playoff matchups, the NFL and its players' union agreed to stop daily COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated players.

In a memo sent Friday to teams, the league said it would add unvaccinated players to its existing symptom screening and testing surveillance programs. Any player or staff member who reports coronavirus symptoms will still be tested.

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"This comprehensive, symptom-based approach to testing reflects our recent experience with the Omicron variant and conforms to current public health recommendations and best practices employed in healthcare, and offers the best opportunity for identifying and treating cases promptly and avoiding spread within the facility," the memo said.

According to the NFL's most recent COVID-19 data, 95% of players and close to 100% of staff members are vaccinated, meaning the protocol change will apply to a small number of people.

There are only eight NFL teams remaining in the playoffs. According to ESPN, there are approximately 12 unvaccinated players who are still playing in the postseason.

Green Bay Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whose 90-day testing exemption following a positive COVID-19 test was set to expire soon, is among that group of unvaccinated players.

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