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NFL logo. Photo: Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The National Football League announced Thursday that it would adjust its coronavirus protocols to "address the increase" in cases and in response to the Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The league's announcement comes on the heels of a massive outbreak with more than three dozen players placed on the league’s COVID-19 list, according to AP.

  • Effective immediately, all clubs will require the use of face masks, regardless of vaccination status, and eliminate in-person meals, per the release.
  • The league will also adjust the "return-to-participation" requirements for those who have recovered from the virus.

What they're saying: "Throughout the pandemic we have continuously evolved our protocols to meet our goal of advancing the safety of the players," the league said in a statement.

  • "We will continue to strongly encourage booster shots as the most effective protection," it continued.
  • "All of these changes are grounded in our data and science-backed approach."

Go deeper

Jan 15, 2022 - Health

Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron

Three COVID-19 testing companies place testing locations outside Grand Central Terminal on Jan. 14 in New York City. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Experts are warning that subsequent COVID-19 variants are likely to come after Omicron, AP reports.

Why it matters: The warnings come as there's no guarantee that subsequent variants "will cause milder illness or that existing vaccines will work against them," underscoring the need for widespread vaccination, AP writes.

Scramble over gas for EU as Russia threatens Ukraine

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Cracks in the NATO alliance regarding sanctions for Russia should President Vladimir Putin order troops into Ukraine are in large part based on energy supply concerns.

Why it matters: Russia holds tremendous leverage over some European countries because it provides roughly 40% of Europe's natural gas supply. In Germany, this figure is greater than 50%.

Why the Fed might want to jolt the markets

Fed chair Jerome Powell at a hearing earlier this month. Photo: Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images

So far, financial markets are cooperating nicely with the Federal Reserve's efforts to restrain inflation. They're doing the Fed's work for it by creating tighter financial conditions, in a distinctly non-panicky way.

  • But as the central bank's policymakers meet this week, an underlying question they face is whether the adjustment is happening too slowly.