Testing protocol is still being developed

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The NFL and NFL Players Association are reaching the various agreements that need to be reached to allow the 2020 season to proceed on a piecemeal basis. Certain key agreements still need to be finalized.

The latest agreement relates to the Game Day protocol. PFT has obtained the 11-page document that sets forth in careful detail that various steps that will be taken to limit the spread of the virus in the locker room, on the sidelines, before games, and after games. As previously noted, jersey swaps can’t happen. As previously noted, players and coaches aren’t required to wear masks, but everyone else on the sideline is.

One key aspect of the 2020 game-day experience remains unresolved, however. Players and Tier 1/Tier 2 individuals (such as coaches) “will undergo screening and testing in accordance with the Screening and Testing Protocol.” That protocol, however, has not yet been finalized.

It becomes, obviously, a critical document. In May, some connected to the league believed that, by September, rapid-response testing would be readily and reliably available, allowing players, coaches, and anyone on the sidelines to be tested before they enter the stadium. Such testing has yet to be developed; the challenge for the NFL and the NFLPA will be to come up with a strategy that minimizes the chances of a player who has know symptoms but who has  the virus from unknowingly shedding it during a game.

Without reliable and readily available rapid-response testing, it will be impossible to know with certainty whether players who have the virus will be entering a game, where all of the various efforts to limit the spread of the virus get turned on their head — and where players are breathing hard and sweating and spitting and bleeding.

The ability of the NFL to pull off the 2020 season hinges in many respects on the ability to keep players who have the virus away from the field of play. That’s the one area where normal protocols won’t work, and where the only safeguard will be ensuring that only players who recently tested negative will be in the fray.

Without the ability to obtain a reliable negative test on game day, every game will become a roll of the dice on a possible outbreak. Whether the NFL will be rolling the dice for up to 32 preseason games, for 256 regular-season games, and for 13 postseason games remains to be seen, based on the details of the to-be-finalized testing protocol.

14 responses to “Testing protocol is still being developed

  1. As of today, given the US population of 328,200,000 with down-trending 134,000 Covid deaths equates to .0004 death count (not percentage) of the US population. Basically people will get ill, like any other virus, but death is SUPER RARE. Those numbers are factual. .0004 count people. We can get back to life now.

  2. This testing protocol will determine whether or not we can have a season. Without accurate and rapid result there is no chance.

    Most likely it will not be enough even if the NFL takes every precaution.

  3. 50Stars says:
    July 9, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    As of today, given the US population of 328,200,000 with down-trending 134,000 Covid deaths equates to .0004 death count (not percentage) of the US population. Basically people will get ill, like any other virus, but death is SUPER RARE. Those numbers are factual. .0004 count people. We can get back to life now.

    ————————————————————————
    Your .0004 statistic is based on 328,200,000 people. However, only 37,000,000 tests have been performed. You cannot include the entire population in your analysis when only a small fraction of the population has been tested.

    Also, 37,000,000 tests does not mean that is the number of PEOPLE who have been tested because many people have been tested multiple times. For example, some people in the government (White House, military, politicians) are being tested regularly.

    Your point seems to be that deaths are ‘SUPER RARE’. In addition to your numbers being wrong, you seem to be ignoring the fact that 20% of those who are infected need to be hospitalized. And about half of those people are having difficulty recovering. Many people who are ‘recovering’ have permanent lung damage.

    I wish everything would ‘just go back to normal’ but we need to face reality.

  4. sportsfan7 says:
    July 9, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    Your point seems to be that deaths are ‘SUPER RARE’. In addition to your numbers being wrong, you seem to be ignoring the fact that 20% of those who are infected need to be hospitalized

    —–

    Actually your numbers are also wrong. We have no idea how many people are actually infected. 20% is based on those who we know have the virus…..not on how many have actually contracted the virus

  5. I got tested last week – it’s sticking a giant Q-Tip way up your nose-not a ton of protocol to be discussed here!

  6. sportsfan7 says:
    July 9, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    Your point seems to be that deaths are ‘SUPER RARE’. In addition to your numbers being wrong, you seem to be ignoring the fact that 20% of those who are infected need to be hospitalized

    —–

    Actually your numbers are also wrong. We have no idea how many people are actually infected. 20% is based on those who we know have the virus…..not on how many have actually contracted the virus

    —————————————————————-
    Point taken. I should have said ‘20% of those KNOWN to be infected have needed to be hospitalized’.

    What I was trying to highlight is that the impacts of COVID should not be based on deaths alone. To be hospitalized, you have to have very significant symptoms, most frequently trouble breathing. And if you think wearing a mask in uncomfortable, consider those who are on a ventilator.

  7. “Actually your numbers are also wrong. We have no idea how many people are actually infected. 20% is based on those who we know have the virus…..not on how many have actually contracted the virus”

    I can tell you some numbers from Florida as of this morning where the virus is spiking in a big way.

    56 Florida hospitals in 25 different counties were are 100% ICU capacity with covid patients. Another 35 have 10% or less ICU capacity remaining. Only 962 of 5023 ICU beds in FL are available. Contract tracing has become impossible there because infections are so widespread.

    Note also in those places where ICU beds are at 100% usage you better pray you don’t get hit by a drunk driver or some other major accident where you need intensive care, because you’re 100% out of luck

    Texas and several other states are also in rough shape with ICU capacity.

    And its not just the people who die. Many survivors will have lifelong lung and other medical issues.

    Personally I want this over just as much as anyone else. My 2 jobs are designing and operating concert lighting, and managing audio visual production at conferences. I am 100% out of work until this is over.

    But I don’t want to go back to work if it means my fellow Americans are put at significant risk of death or lifetime injury. The reality is as long as Trump is in office there will be no unified national response which is what is needed to shut this down, 10s of thousands of Americans will continue to die, 10s of thousands of others left with lifetime health problems.

    With the spikes happening all across the south in red states, I doubt very much there will be football or any other sports this fall, or if they do start up they won’t last long

  8. sportsfan7 says:
    July 9, 2020 at 2:13 pm
    50Stars says:
    July 9, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    As of today, given the US population of 328,200,000 with down-trending 134,000 Covid deaths equates to .0004 death count (not percentage) of the US population. Basically people will get ill, like any other virus, but death is SUPER RARE. Those numbers are factual. .0004 count people. We can get back to life now.

    ————————————————————————
    Your .0004 statistic is based on 328,200,000 people. However, only 37,000,000 tests have been performed. You cannot include the entire population in your analysis when only a small fraction of the population has been tested.

    Also, 37,000,000 tests does not mean that is the number of PEOPLE who have been tested because many people have been tested multiple times. For example, some people in the government (White House, military, politicians) are being tested regularly.

    Sportsfan….I’m guessing you didn’t attend business school. Accepted statistical analyses used worldwide state that with the strictest parameters, the US population of positive tests can be extrapolated by using data from 1,844 tests. Don’t believe me? See for yourself at raosoft or any other online sample size calculator. By your own admission, we have exceeded that number ~37M. 50Stars is a LOT closer to right than you think….

  9. I can tell you some numbers from Florida as of this morning where the virus is spiking in a big way.

    56 Florida hospitals in 25 different counties were are 100% ICU capacity with covid patients. Another 35 have 10% or less ICU capacity remaining. Only 962 of 5023 ICU beds in FL are available. Contract tracing has become impossible there because infections are so widespread

    Categorically false….1) The ICU beds are NOT occupied with COVID only patients. 2) Most area corporately held hospitals have suspended elective and non-life threatening surgeries to clear ICU beds. 3) There are 6,006 ICU beds in FL with 1,409 open. In COVID-19 hotspot areas, Palm Beach County had 73 of its 406 adult ICU beds available, Miami-Dade County had 980 adult ICU beds with 240 of them open, Broward County has 115 of the 478 ICU beds available.

  10. If one just reads the comments on PFT, it’s no surprise why the US can’t control this virus as other countries have. Many people refuse to believe it’s even a serious health risk, let alone what to do about it.

    Believe it or not, back when we were trying to beat the USSR to space and in other technology, the US used to be proud of being a leader in science.

    Now we seem to be more proud of denying scientific inquiry.

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