NFL braces for a rash of positive COVID-19 tests when camp opens

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When players report for training camp, they’ll initially receive a COVID-19 test. The NFL is expecting a rash of positive results.

We absolutely expect that, and I think that’s just reflective of the fact that this disease remains endemic in our society,” NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills told Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.

The goal will be catching those who test positive before they can enter the team facility, the locker room, the practice field, or a game.

“You don’t want anyone who is infected to come into that team environment,” Dr. Sills told Volin. “That is an absolutely crucial screening for us to try to start off with a very healthy environment, and also make sure we can give the appropriate treatment and care for those individuals who may be affected and not be aware. But I think we all anticipate that there will be those cases, and we’ve been very clear of that throughout.”

The NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed that players who test positive but who are asymptomatic will be quarantined for at least five days and must generate two negative tests before returning. Symptomatic players must be quarantined for 10 days with two negative tests. For players who actually become ill, they may be off the field even longer than that after being cleared, given the potential impact of exercise on their recovery.

So how many will be positive from the get go? With other sports generating a positive test rate in the range of 2-5 percent as players report for duty, and with (as Volin estimates) roughly 4,500 NFL players, coaches, and staff, that’s a range of 90 to 225 positives. The challenge will be to identify all of them and to keep them away from others, to prevent the kind of outbreak that would cause the Jenga tower to collapse upon removal of its first brick.

22 responses to “NFL braces for a rash of positive COVID-19 tests when camp opens

  1. What is the point to trying to start a football season that has absolutely no chance to succeed?

  2. The virus will be with us for years. Either learn to live with it safely or dig a deep hole and sit in it.

    Football and other sports are not going to end and will be played. Positive tests are expected and will be treated just like injuries. Player is out 2 weeks. Goes on the report just like other injuries. Show goes on as it always has.👍

  3. considering you have devin white throwing a 2000 person party, i’d imagine more players will attend these types of parties with no regard. then complain that they might get it at work.

  4. Just start after the election. The vaccine will be magically available and this will all go away.

  5. Unless they intend on using multiple locker rooms per team or doing something similar to soccer where players change in hidden areas, how can this work?

  6. Evidence is mounting that many people who survive Covid-19 don’t fully recover. Getting this disease could be a career ender for athletes.

  7. “For players who actually become ill, they may be off the field even longer than that after being cleared”….

    —————-

    Wow, sure sounds like a truly frightening virus. COVID-19 is a teddy bear. All you sheep who worry about it are the real obsticle in getting back to normalicy.

  8. “seems like the NFL’s leaders have no fear of the covid…”

    ————

    nor should they, COVID’s a teddy bear.

  9. “Evidence is mounting that many people who survive Covid-19 don’t fully recover.”

    ——————

    Let me guess, you read that on Facebook. Keep on following sheep.

  10. unsunder says:
    July 12, 2020 at 2:38 pm
    Evidence is mounting that many people who survive Covid-19 don’t fully recover. Getting this disease could be a career ender for athletes.

    ************************************************************************************
    Weird I did not heard Von Miller retired.

  11. Why not test now? All positives can quarantine before camp so to be back when camp starts. Then when testing occurs, there would be less positive tests.

  12. “Why not test now?”

    Just a matter of not having everyone together for accurate uniform testing like they will have on July 28th.

    Good news is that those that test positive early in camp will be back to camp about 10 days later if they have had 2 negative tests a few days apart after the original 5 day quarantine. These players then should be good to go for the rest of camp and the season. We aren’t 100% sure you can’t get reinfected with Covid, but it’s fairly clear that is the case.

  13. Sopita says:
    July 12, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    “seems like the NFL’s leaders have no fear of the covid…”

    ————

    nor should they, COVID’s a teddy bear.

    ———————

    More dead from Covid-19 than all US fatalities in Korea, Viet Nam, 911, Iraq (twice)and Afghanistan combined. That’s 4 months of this vs over 30 years of US wars. And it’s just getting started. Maybe in your eyes we shouldn’t honor our vets anymore since they’re losses were less than that of a teddy bear. Some people who place value on human life might not agree with you.

  14. freefromwhatyouare says:
    July 12, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    “Why not test now?”

    Just a matter of not having everyone together for accurate uniform testing like they will have on July 28th.

    Good news is that those that test positive early in camp will be back to camp about 10 days later if they have had 2 negative tests a few days apart after the original 5 day quarantine. These players then should be good to go for the rest of camp and the season. We aren’t 100% sure you can’t get reinfected with Covid, but it’s fairly clear that is the case.

    —————–

    The most widely used polymearse chain reaction tests (the one that detect active virus) run in the range of 85-100% accurate. But that is only in lab conditions. In field testing where there is more human error (primarily with improper nasal swabbing), the average is closer to 80%, or 20% false negatives. That means 1-in-5 people who test negative are actually positive. So what happens when those people hit the field and mash face masks and hard breathing with other players? And regarding antibody testing, it does appear there is some immunity against reinfection. But it also appears that antibody levels decline over time, and given how new this is there isn’t good data on how long, or to what degree that immunity exists. Like in all crisis management situations, hope for the best. Plan for the worst.

  15. Major League Soccer just cancelled its second game out of six scheduled because of Covid19. And they’re in their so called protective bubble. Given the number of false negatives being experienced (between 5%-15%), how long before one false negative player infect two entire teams?
    Instead of trying to project an image of normalicy, if we had taken it seriously, we could be at where western Europe is now with 5-7000 infections daily instead of our 60-70,000 daily. And we haven’t crested the first wave yet. We’ve become a nation of cry babies who can’t go without sports. The simple precautions of washing,distancing and wearing masks regarded as too onorus to bear, heroic Atlas shouldering the weight of the world.
    Man up, stop your whining, do the right thing and wait for better days. Cancel the season and plan for a better NFL when this is over. It’s not. Yet.

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