NFL has the first outbreak of the COVID-19 team. At least nine members of the Tennessee Titans have produced confirmed positive test results in the past four days, a series of coronavirus infections that likely spread during Sunday’s match against the Minnesota Vikings at the Bank of the United States Stadium.
The Titans shut their training facilities until at least Saturday, while the Vikings shut their facilities until they got further test results. Decisions regarding the fourth week of the two teams’ matches are pending.
Here’s what we currently know, with the appropriate context. We will keep updating as the news evolves.
Schedule for returning to the facilities | Can games be postponed?
So this started with the Titans?
Yeah. On Saturday, Titans head coach Shane Bowen retested a confirmed positive. The Giants received the results before leaving Nashville for Minneapolis, and Bowen was barred from making the trip.
Were the other eight employees injured by Bowen?
we do not know. What we do know is that the entire group of travel titans was tested on Saturday, as is usually the case. The Giants got these results by Sunday morning. All were negative, meaning every coach, player and employee qualified for Sunday’s match.
The Titans stayed Saturday night at the JW Marriott Hotel, adjacent to the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, according to Courtney Cronin of ESPN. The League Protocol requires all members of the traveling team to have their own rooms and it is also prohibited for them to “gather, visit, or socialize with individuals outside the travel group once they reach the game city.”
On Sunday, they beat the Vikings, 31-30. The team returned home after the match ended.
So no one was tested on Sunday?
Shout. The protocols require daily testing every day except for match day. Neither the league nor the NFLPA has explicitly explained why, but timing is likely a big part of the answer. The results of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which are taken in the morning of a match with a nasal swab, may not be returned in time to start the match.
Point of care (POC) tests yield faster results – PCR tests are usually returned overnight, while POC tests can be returned the same day, and even before departure, after the morning test – but they are not accurate. At this time, POC tests are only used to help confirm initial positive tests, and the NFL doesn’t trust them yet. It is possible that the NFL did not want a player or coach to be sidelined based solely on the starting point test.
When is their next test?
All Titans and Vikings Level 1 and Level 2 personnel, including players and coaches, were tested on Monday morning. And confirmed the positive tests of the eight Titans who returned, three players and five employees. They are not recognized. No symptoms appeared, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN. None of the members of the Vikings have tested positive.
Does this mean the outbreak has been contained?
No, general guidelines issued by public health officials indicate that it may take up to 5-7 days for infection to be tested. That’s why the Titans facility has been closed until at least Saturday. The NFL / NFLPA protocol calls for an eight-day increase in surveillance for anyone who has had close contact with someone who has retested a confirmed positive.
How do they define close contact?
The protocols follow the CDC guidelines: At least 6 feet apart for at least 15 minutes for the affected individual. The association has identified 48 close contacts for surveillance, based on contact tracing of the eight confirmed individuals, according to Graziano. It is unclear if these were all members of the Titans, or if some of them were members of the Vikings.
This includes communication during the game as well as data recorded by the mandatory proximity devices that all team personnel wear before and after the match. According to the protocol, “Level 1, Level 2, Level 2M, and Level 3 individuals will also be required to wear Kinexon Proximity Recording trackers at all times while participating in team activities (including at the club’s facility, during practices, and while the team is traveling).
Diana Rossini explains the possible origin of the Titans coronavirus outbreak and why not expect Tennessee to play its fourth-week match against Pittsburgh.
Did the virus find the only loophole in the protocol?
If the Titans transmitted the infection to the Vikings, then yes. Games are the only point in NFL week where social distancing is impossible, and the period during which an afflicted person is most likely to breathe in on others. This is part of the reason the NFL insists that coaches and other non-players wear masks on the sidelines.
Also, not having a gameday test increases the risk. Sunday morning’s POC test may have detected at least some of the positive results that the Giants finally recorded on Monday.
right. But it looked as if the NFL protocols were working.
They had been. As of Tuesday morning, there were only four players on the NFL’s COVID-19 list. Only seven players, and 29 other non-players, returned positive results during the four testing periods from August 12 to September 19.
But as Zachary Penny, an epidemiologist at Emory University’s Oxford College, said earlier this month: “An outbreak could really happen at any time.” It’s fair to wonder if this will turn into a game day test.
When can Vikings and Titans return to their training facilities?
We know that the Titans will not return until Saturday at the earliest. The return of the Vikings depends on whether they have received any confirmed positive results.
How long will injured players and staff be removed from the team?
It is complicated. Here Flowchart of positive asymptomatic and asymptomatic tests.
This graphic from the NFL Protocols explains a lot of what the Titans and Vikings are doing now. pic.twitter.com/Z3JLQy43GZ
– Kevin Seifert (@seifertESPN) 29th September 2020
What about the fourth week games?
For now, both are still scheduled to play on Sunday. However, that may change in the coming hours and days. Titans ‘Sunday in Nashville versus Pittsburgh Steelers could easily be moved to Week 7, if the NFL moved the Steelers’ Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens to Week 8, when both of them had a goodbye. The possible rescheduling of the Vikings match in Houston Texas is less clear.
The NFL has set up an independent committee of unaffiliated former league officials to advise Commissioner Roger Goodell on fairness and equity in these situations. One of the immediate questions is whether it would be fair for the Titans to play the Steelers on Sunday if they were too far from their team’s facility and thus unable to train all week.