NFL sees an increase in Tier 3 positives

USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s various franchises have divided access and, in turn, testing based on a series of tiers. As the virus continues to spread and as the nationwide numbers continue to increase, the NFL is also seeing an increase among Tier 3 personnel.

Tested once per week, Tier 3 individuals consist of certain types of operational personnel (e.g., cleaning service providers), food preparation/kitchen personnel (who will prepare meals but have no contact with Tier 1 or Tier 2 Individuals), additional in-house media and broadcast personnel (e.g., camera operators, audio technicians), field maintenance providers, transportation providers, and additional stadium or security personnel not assigned to restricted areas.

According to the league, the recent increases for Tier 3 personnel are consistent with the general increases in infections throughout society. This only underscores the importance of Tier 1 and Tier 2 personnel (primarily players and coaches) avoiding situations that could result in infections when away from work. Absent a home-market bubble, all players and coaches will continue to go their separate ways after every day or work, potentially getting themselves exposed to the virus under a wide variety of factual circumstances.

As the total cases continue to increase (and they are), the opportunities to catch the virus likewise will increase. Although the league’s protocols are premised on preventing inevitable positive cases from becoming outbreaks, an increase in positives means an increase in chances for an outbreak.

Thus, while the NFL will have made it through eight full weeks after tonight’s Bucs-Giants contest with all games played (even if it took some surgery to the schedule to make it happen), challenges loom. They loom because the virus continues to spread.

This means that everyone associated with each NFL team must do whatever they can to steer clear of the virus, until the season ends.