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NFL ends daily COVID-19 testing for all players

(AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

By The Associated Press

The NFL is curtailing daily testing of all players, vaccinated or unvaccinated, for COVID-19.

In a memo sent to the 32 clubs and obtained by The Associated Press, the league said Friday that medical experts from the NFL and the players' union agreed to the change. Those doctors have seen enough evidence of a decrease in positive tests in the last month to feel comfortable with dropping daily tests.

Last month, weekly testing for vaccinated players and personnel was stopped, but anyone who reported symptoms of COVID-19 or was part of targeted surveillance still was subjected to testing.

"Following consultation with our jointly retained infectious disease experts, the NFL and NFL Players Association have updated the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols to eliminate the distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated players to determine testing cadence," the memo said. "Effective immediately, all players and tiered staff will be subject to strategic and targeted testing."

The league will continue symptom-based testing and screening for symptoms.

"This comprehensive, symptom-based approach to testing reflects our recent experience with the omicron variant and conforms to current public health recommendations and best practices employed in healthcare," the memo said, "and offers the best opportunity for identifying and treating cases promptly and avoiding spread within the facility."

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Updated January 21, 2022

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