NFL, NFLPA Reach Agreement on Revised Isolation Times for COVID-19 Positives

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The NFL and NFL Players Association reached an agreement Tuesday to limit the isolation period for asymptomatic individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 from 10 days to five.

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

Memo to NFL teams a short while ago stating players are eligible to return five days from when a positive test was collected. So for <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Colts?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Colts</a> QB Carson Wentz (and any player who tested positive yesterday or before), that means he can be cleared as soon as Saturday. <a href=”https://t.co/niFRQRc5Zn”>pic.twitter.com/niFRQRc5Zn</a>

This comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended a five-day isolation period for individuals with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic, followed by five days of masking:

“The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after. Therefore, people who test positive should isolate for 5 days and, if asymptomatic at that time, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for 5 days to minimize the risk of infecting others.”

The change in the NFL would apply to both vaccinated and unvaccinated players.

The league and players’ union already agreed to amend rules regarding testing and return-to-play protocols. Players who are vaccinated and asymptomatic aren’t required to undergo regular testing. In addition, players in that group can return more quickly after entering the COVID-19 protocols.

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Note that return to play isn’t contingent on being asymptomatic. You need:<br><br>- 5 days since initial positive swab<br>- At least 24 hours since last fever<br>- Other symptoms (e.g. cough) “resolved or improved”<br>- Cleared by team doctor in consultation with ICS and NFL

The latter step was because of new information regarding the risk for a person with COVID-19 to spread the virus to others.

“It’s not about loosening our standards,” said Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer. “If anything, we’re just bringing a higher degree of precision in measuring ourselves against a more precise ruler.”

The NFL has had to postpone games and seen a high number of players placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list amid the surge in new cases because of the omicron variant.

Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the NFL had a record-high 106 players land on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday.

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