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Signage prior to the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Photo: Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

The NFL found that transmission of COVID-19 occurred in less than 15 minutes of cumulative interaction between individuals, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The big picture: The protocols and resources for contact tracing and testing allowed the 32 teams to complete its regular season and the playoffs on time with only the Super Bowl remaining.

  • The league along with the NFL Players Association identified four factors when players and staff came in contact with each other: whether masks were in use, how well the room was ventilated, how long the interaction was and the physical distance between the two parties.

By the numbers: About 623,000 COVID-19 tests were performed on approximately 11,400 players and staff members and nearly 3% tested positive between Aug. 9 and Nov. 21.

  • Between Sept. 27 and Oct. 10, a total of 41 cases were identified among players and staff. Of those, 21 showed transmission within a single team, requiring closure of that team's facilities.
  • When infection rates climbed in November, the league intensified protocols, mandating high-risk interaction tracing and negative daily PCR testing, among other social rules.

Reality check: The CDC says intensive testing and contact tracing helps prevent the spread of COVID-19, but the model set by the football league could be too costly for other industries to copy.

What to watch: Only the Super Bowl remains, where Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play on Feb. 7 in Tampa with a limited crowd of about 22,000 fans.

  • The league announced Monday it will give away 7,500 tickets to vaccinated health care workers.

Go deeper

Updated 20 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key FDA committee takes on the big booster question — Los Angeles County to require vaccination proof at indoor bars — France suspends 3,000 unvaccinated health workers without pay.
  2. Health: Worsening crisis at Rikers Island jail spurs call for action — 1 in 500 Americans has died — Cases are falling, but deaths are rising.
  3. Politics: White House invites call with Nicki Minaj to discuss vaccine — Gottlieb says CDC hampered U.S. response — 26 states have limited state or local officials' public health powers.
  4. Education: Denver looks to students to close Latino vaccination gap — Federal judge temporarily blocks Iowa's ban on mask mandates in schools — Massachusetts activates National Guard to help with school transportation.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Students vandalize and steal from schools for viral TikTok challenge

TikTok logo displayed on a phone screen in Krakow, Poland on July 18, 2021. Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A viral TikTok challenge is leading students nationwide to shatter mirrors, steal fire alarms and intentionally clog toilets, The Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: Dubbed the the “Devious Licks challenge, students are showing off their "devious licks" on TikTok — with a sped-up version of "Ski Ski BasedGod" by rapper Lil’ B playing in the background.