Nov 19, 2021 - Sports

NFL to enforce stricter protocols as COVID surges

General view of the National Football League logo inside of MetLife Stadium.

Photo: Rich Barnes/Getty Images

The NFL has strengthened its COVID-19 protocols leading up to Thanksgiving, as cases rise across the league and the nation.

Driving the news: Every person, regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks inside team facilities between Nov. 25 and Dec. 1. Players, coaches and staff will be tested post-Thanksgiving weekend.

  • This comes after the NFL had 81 confirmed positives between Oct. 31 and Nov. 13, the most of any two-week period this season.

The big picture: Coronavirus cases rose by 20% nationwide over the last two weeks. Just 59% of Americans are fully vaccinated as families make plans to convene, per the CDC.

The last word: "This virus is doing what this virus does," said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. "We don't understand why surges start [or] why they end."

Go deeper: Masks reduce COVID incidence by 53%, study shows (Axios)

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