As the Summer begins to get underway, the weather isn’t the only thing heating up. So, too, are the league’s plans for trying to contain the coronavirus once teams begin reporting to training camp next month—assuming that they still ends up happening.
Earlier this morning, ESPN published an article containing some of the details of a memo that the NFL has sent to all 32 teams regarding plans for preparing their facilities to accept a much wider level of personnel than they have seen since the pandemic first hit. Since then, to date, only players actively participating in physical rehabilitation have been able to access team facilities.
The highlight of the memo is the fact that teams will be required to create a three-tiered system that restricts access to employees based on their tier level. The first tier will include personnel such as players and coaches, as well as trainers, and generally anybody who regularly needs direct access to the athletes.
The second tier would include people in the front office, some assistant coaches, video equipment managers, security, and select others, while the third tier would include operational personnel and other in-house employees. Teams, however, are required to assign tiers to individuals, and the league will have to approve them.
Teams will also have to have separate entrances in their facilities for individuals in the first two tiers and those in the third, or if that is not a possibility, than to assign designated times that that entrance can be used to gain access to the facility.
Another point made in the article is that the NFL and NFLPA reserves the right to perform surprise inspections of team facilities to ensure that all of the necessary protocols are being followed. Those in the first two tiers will be subject to daily testing, and will have to answer questions every day about their activities and their health.
Businesses all over the world have found their workplaces changing because of the necessary precautions that must be put in place in hoping to contain the spread of a virus that has proven to be rather easy to contract, and has in the past month given indications that it is even mutating into an even more contagious strain.
Meanwhile, around the country, we continue to see a surge in new cases, with hotspots having develops in areas such as Texas, Florida, and Arizona, cases numbers growing by the thousands daily. It remains to be seen if regional limitations are going to affect certain teams, regarding whether or not they will be able to open for business, which as to be a major league concern with respect to parity.