The NFL's COVID-19 testing results for the Dec. 26, 2021 – Jan. 8, 2022, period are as follows:
- 12,491 tests were administered to a total of 2,398 players and team personnel; 1,019 players and 1,379 personnel.
- There were 380 new confirmed positive tests among players and 247 new confirmed positives among personnel.
- In the second half of this two-week time period, the number of positive cases decreased by approximately 50 percent overall.
Unvaccinated individuals are required to test daily. As of December 18, vaccinated individuals are subject to targeted testing administered as a result of symptoms, a high-risk contact, or as a spot-test at the discretion of the Chief Medical Officer in consultation with the NFL and NFLPA's medical advisors. Players may also volunteer for additional testing at the club facility and home tests are available for players, tiered staff, and their families, as well.
All players, Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 individuals are subject to stringent symptom screening prior to entering the club facility each day; all symptomatic individuals are tested before entering. Early symptom reporting for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals is key to keeping our clubs and communities safe.
Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are immediately isolated, not permitted to access club facilities, or have direct contact with players or personnel. Club medical staff are in regular communication with individuals who test positive to monitor for symptoms.
Following the CDC's December 27 guidance, players and personnel (regardless of vaccination status) are eligible to return to the club facility and interact with other players and personnel when each of the following has occurred:
- Five days have passed since the specimen that resulted positive was collected; AND
- At least 24 hours have passed since the individual last had a fever without the use of fever reducing medications; AND
- Other symptoms have resolved or improved; AND
- The club's Head Team Primary Care Sports Medicine Physician, after consultation with Infection Control for Sports and notification of the NFL Chief Medical Officer, determines that the individual may return to the club facility and interaction with other club employees/contractors; AND
- Any local regulations or requirements are satisfied.
When there are positive cases within the club environment, the Enhanced Mitigation Protocol (EMP) may be used at the discretion of medical experts, similar to the successful approach of the 2020 season. EMP is a targeted tool that may include additional measures such as: daily testing for all players and personnel, required masking, distancing for meals and meetings, or shifting meetings to well-ventilated areas or virtual.
The NFL's COVID-19 vaccination rate as of January 13 is as follows:
- Nearly 95% of NFL players are vaccinated; nearly 100% of NFL personnel are vaccinated.
- With such a highly vaccinated population, the NFL environment is not comparable to anywhere else in society. We will continue to work with the NFLPA with the goal of having 100% of players vaccinated.
Given the prevalence of COVID-19 and the highly contagious Omicron variant in communities, positive cases among vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals are expected to continue throughout the 2021 season. As conditions change, so will the NFL-NFLPA protocols to prevent as many cases of COVID-19 as possible and to ensure the health of the players, coaches and personnel.
Total COVID-19 test results for the entire Monitoring Testing period to-date, Aug. 1, 2021 – Jan. 8, 2022:
- During routine monitoring testing from Aug 1, 2021 – Jan. 8, 2022, 961 players and 803 personnel were confirmed positive cases.
- Approximately 217,000 tests were administered to more than 8,700 players and personnel during the Aug. 1, 2021 – Jan. 8, 2022, period.