NFL needs a better COVID plan to protect players, profits and America

Dr. Joshua Barocas The NFL season is on the brink of collapse. So far, there have been more than 100 positive coronavirus cases among pl...

Dr. Joshua Barocas

The NFL season is on the brink of collapse. So far, there have been more than 100 positive coronavirus cases among players and personnel. To date, two teams have experienced outbreaks and others have had isolated cases. Aside from routine testing and some basic risk mitigation interventions — masks for coaches and referees during the game — the league has done little to ensure a safe work environment or promote positive public health messaging.

In fact, it is promoting a harmful and counterproductive narrative that infections are the result of players misbehaving. The NFL could, however, ensure a successful season, protect players and staff, provide resources to vulnerable communities, and help change the narrative around coronavirus — all at the same time.

Thus far, the NFL has been lucky. It has administered more than 400,000 tests,and has a positivity rate below 1%, and no player or staff member has become critically ill or died. But it’s a matter of time. Even young, healthy people can have devastating short and long-term health consequences. Several cases of myocarditis (inflammation and damage to the heart muscle that is potentially fatal) from SARS-CoV-2 have been reported in young athletes, and emerging data suggests long-term effects on other vital organs. Of course, the full extent of damage from this virus will not be known for years.



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Newsrust: NFL needs a better COVID plan to protect players, profits and America
NFL needs a better COVID plan to protect players, profits and America
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