The NFL's COVID-19 testing results for the November 14 – November 27 period are as follows:
- 19,475 tests were administered to a total of 6,572 players and team personnel; 2,489 players and 4,083 personnel.
- There were 29 new confirmed positive tests among players and 43 new confirmed positives among personnel. The overall incidence rate is 1.1% for this testing period.
Unvaccinated individuals are required to test daily. Vaccinated individuals are tested once a week and may volunteer for additional testing. Anyone identified as a high risk contact due to exposure will be tested daily, as appropriate. Early symptom reporting and testing for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals is key to keeping our clubs and communities safe this season.
- On November 16, an update of the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols and reminder of additional best practices was shared with NFL clubs, to include measures aimed at reducing potential exposures after the Thanksgiving holiday. Those include: Strongly encouraging clubs to implement drive-through testing for family and friends visiting players and friends for the holiday; required testing of all players and Tier 1 and Tier 2 personnel on the Monday and Wednesday following Thanksgiving, regardless of vaccination status; and, mandatory mask-wearing for all players and Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 personnel, regardless for vaccination status, at all times when inside their club facility beginning Thursday, November 25 though Wednesday, December 1.
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 symptoms.
- Unvaccinated individuals must isolate for 10 days away from the club facility.
- Fully vaccinated individuals who are within the first six days of quarantine after a confirmed positive test may return to the facility once they have received two consecutive negative laboratory PCR tests taken at least 24 hours apart and have been asymptomatic for 48 hours. Fully vaccinated individuals who are in days 7-10 of quarantine after a confirmed positive test may return to the facility once they have received one negative laboratory PCR test, followed by a negative rapid PCR test taken 24 hours later, and have been asymptomatic for 48 hours. If fully vaccinated individuals do not return the required negative tests, they may return after 10 days.
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 and includes additional measures such as: daily testing for all players and personnel, required masking, distancing for meals and meetings, shifting of meetings to well-ventilated areas or making all meetings virtual.
The NFL's COVID-19 vaccination rate as of December 2 is as follows:
- 94.4% 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 the COVID-19 infection in communities, positive cases among vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals are expected 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 Monitoring Testing period to-date, August 1 – November 27:
- During routine monitoring testing from Aug 1 – Nov 27, 157 players and 275 personnel were confirmed positive cases.
- Approximately 154,000 tests were administered to more than 8,400 players and personnel during the Aug 1 – Nov 27 period.