The delayed NFL’s 2021 games have just started. The Super Bowl Champions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to compete with the Dallas Cowboys firstly. According to recent news, from December, as many as 15 matches were postponed due to the surge in the teams and also in the US in general. The highly transmissible form of the Omicron variant had led to the push-back in December 2021.
NFL Suggestions On Handling The Pandemic Better
The National Football league took the hasty decision about a month ago, owing to the sudden surge in the cases of infection. In the meanwhile, the team had obtained about one month’s time to get all the team members vaccinated. The staff has also been vaccinated.
The team started the matches keeping in mind that they were playing amidst the pandemic season. So, the officials and coaches were always aware that the team might be required to stop matches in between if the Omicron surged beyond the capacity of the authorities. And it did. The team had to rethink their tactics for the matches.
The team’s official medical advisor had already given various protocols to the teammates to maintain. However, they later observed that the maximum transmission happened during team meetings, dinners, and while people were greeting one another. The health advisor was very skeptical from the beginning regarding the transmission capabilities of the Virus. The surge across the US made matters worse.
The team had taken a lot of precautions, but still, many of the team members and the staff got infected. The team has always maintained certain guidelines to follow. It is also for the world to see how the best precautions can delay infections.
When the Omicron started taking over the US, the NFL team also saw a rise in cases as well. There were initially 30 cases per week, but it quickly rose to around 300. There were around 8,000 people involved in the NFL.
The team officials left no stone unturned to see that the memos were passed around from time to time. As many as nine changes were implemented across the teams. The masks and physical distancing were also made mandatory for the staff, while the players were exempt. Boosters were also made mandatory for the staff, not the players.
There were several changes that were enforced for the players as well. It mainly included testing modalities. In the past, there were separate modalities to test vaccinated and unvaccinated players. The vaccinated players were earlier tested on a random basis. And the unvaccinated ones were tested daily. But, many of the protocols had to be changed this last year.
Now, the main stance taken by the team included testing on a random basis or for anyone who had symptoms. Some even stressed the importance of asymptomatic testing. However, according to the team health advisors, the virus may be a trickier one. The Omicron is in question here. It seems to infect people without them showing any symptoms.
It has also been noted that when the infection peaks in an individual, that is usually after 4-5 days, symptoms start showing. However, by them, it is too late at times. The infected individual infects another person in the 4-5 days. This quality of the Omicron makes it a bit trickier to detect.
However, this time, the team officials are maintaining more strict behavior. The staff and players will have to be monitored closely. Moreover, the players are being asked to report as soon as they see some problems or weaknesses in their body systems. The doctors are more worried due to the fact that one who tested negative a day earlier, is testing positive two days later. So, vaccines seem to be the only way out, according to the NFL.
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