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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 Oct 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Booster shots overtake first doses in the U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate entire Brazilian city as part of study — FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adultsU.S. to lift restrictions for fully vaccinated international travelers on Nov. 8.
  2. Health: New cases down, but the West is at risk — Low vaccination rates exacerbate America's caregiving crisis — COVID is here to stay. So what does "victory" look like? — FDA will review Merck COVID-19 pill.
  3. Politics: NHL announces all but four players have been vaccinated — WHO names new advisory group on COVID origins — Biden admin warns Moderna to "step up" global vaccine supply.
  4. Education: LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations amid staffing shortage — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive — Arizona can't use aid for anti-mask education grants, Treasury says.
  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.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

American officials and authorities in Haiti are working to try and free 17 hostages from a U.S.-based missionary group who were kidnapped in Port-au-Prince over the weekend, AP reported Monday.

The latest: Christian Aid Ministries said in a statement Sunday, "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children." The Ohio-based organization said they were on a trip to visit an orphanage when they were kidnapped Saturday.