As we have seen over the course of the past week or so, players returning to their college campuses are being tested for Covid-19—though not all players, as in some cases only players showing symptoms have been tested—with dozens having triggered positive tests. Six positive tests were enough for at least one university to shut practices down temporarily.
NFL players are not set to convene together officially for more than a month, but it was reported yesterday that several members of both the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans have tested positive. Ezekiel Elliott was named as one who tested positive, and it was said that one Texans player who attended George Floyd’s funeral had tested positive.
Considering Elliott’s reaction to the report, following which he questioned whether or not there was a HIPAA violation which protects patient confidentiality, it’s reasonable to assume that there are probably a number of NFL players who have had the coronavirus that we don’t know about. Not everybody is going to be like Von Miller and broadcast his experience.
While the majority of the Cowboys players who have tested positive are reported to be asymptomatic, ESPN’s report says that at least one player was experiencing flu-like symptoms last week. None of these players came in contact with the team facility, which is officially closed to them, unless they are actively engaged in rehab.
Speaking of Texas specifically, where both teams reside, the state has experienced a worrying rise in cases, with over 2000 new cases reported in five of the past six days, including yesterday. The seven-day average of new cases in the state is at an all-time high right now at 2018.
There are over 30,000 currently active reported cases in the state, with over 91,000 total cases overall, and over 2000 deaths to date, though that total ranks fairly low relative to their total population. The Harris and Dallas counties are the hardest-hit areas in the state.
Nearly half of the states around the country are reporting rises in cases of the coronavirus as stay-at-home orders are nearly entirely lifted nationwide and many businesses have already opened their doors. My state just hit the next phase of reopening, which allows for outdoor dining, among other things. My local independent record store is now open. I will not be going there.
In Oregon, reopening plans have been put on pause as surges in cases in parts of the state have interrupted their plans. Some states are now actively talking about reinstating certain protection measures that were working to contain the spread of the virus, which have now largely gone out the window as many Americans want to ‘get back to normal’.
I’d just like to remind you that Covid-19 is still very much active and as contagious as it’s ever been. There are indications that we are beginning to see mutated strains of the virus that will complicate things even further, and making it even more infectious.