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article imageAll NFL teams to enter COVID-19 intensive protocol Saturday

By Karen Graham     Nov 19, 2020 in Sports
The National Football League NFL is placing all teams under intensive protocol starting Saturday to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 as the number of cases rises around the country.
The NFL is taking the rampant surge in coronavirus cases across the country seriously. A memo was sent to all 32 teams on Wednesday, according to Yahoo Sports, informing them that for the rest of the year, they should operate under the league's COVID-19 intensive protocol starting Saturday.
The COVID-19 protocol was introduced on October 1, this year, and was reserved for teams that had positive tests or had been exposed to a team with positive tests. To date, 28 teams have been in the intensive protocol at some point this season.
The clubs operating under the protocol reduced close contacts by over 50 percent since the fifth week of the regular season, according to a memo sent by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to teams on Wednesday.
"The upcoming holidays, beginning with Thanksgiving next week, will introduce new risks of exposure that we need to address now," Commissioner Goodell wrote in the memo obtained by NFL Media.
Under the protocol, the use of face masks will be mandatory at all times at team facilities, including during practice and in weight rooms. Team meetings will be held virtually or in a large outdoor area after approval by the league. Meals will be grab-and-go to avoid players and staff congregating in cafeterias. Time spent in locker rooms will be limited.
The NFL has yet to cancel any games due to COVID-19, although the league continues to battle new virus-related issues every week. Some players, like Buffalo Bills cornerback Josh Norman, have tested positive for the virus and have missed games due to the diagnosis.
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