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NFL requiring teams to have plans to contain outbreak of coronavirus, report says

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers a question during

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers a question during a news conference for Super Bowl LIV in Miami on Jan 29. Credit: AP/David J. Phillip

The NFL is requiring all teams to have plans in place to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus, according to a memo obtained by ESPN.

The memo instructs teams to set up Infectious Disease Emergency Response (IDER) plans that have each organization’s personnel divided into “tiers.” The tiers would tell employees where they can go and what they are allowed to do within team facilities. ESPN reported that all team employees must be assigned a tier and each team must submit an IDER plan to the NFL office seven days before training camps begin next month.

All IDER plans will be reviewed and approved by the NFL, NFLPA and the Infection Control for Sports, according to ESPN.

ESPN reported that players, coaches, trainers, physicians and necessary personnel who have direct access to players will be in Tier 1. General managers, operations employees, some assistant coaches, video personnel, security and other essential personnel will be in Tier 2. Certain operational personnel, team media, broadcast personnel, the field manager, transportation providers and individuals who perform essential facility, stadium or event services will be in Tier 3.

Those in Tier 2 are deemed to need to be in close proximity to players and team personnel in Tier 1, ESPN said. Those in Tier 3 are designated as not requiring close contact to individuals in Tier 1. Those in Tiers 1 and 2 will have access to restricted areas.

According to ESPN, the memos also include social distancing rules and cleaning protocols. The memo states that masks are required in team facilities but do not need to be worn if they interfere with athletic activity.

The Jets will open training camp on July 27 at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey, and the Giants will open training camp on July 28 at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford.

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