Titans, Vikings Suspend Activities After Tennessee Team Reports 8 Positive COVID-19 Tests
Less than three weeks after launching the 2020 football season, the NFL has reported its first cluster of coronavirus cases.
Three players and five personnel with the Tennessee Titans have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to the NFL. The team is closing down their facilities and suspending team activities starting Tuesday due to the positive tests.
The Minnesota Vikings, who hosted the Titans for Sunday’s game, will also be suspending in-person activities out of caution, though the team has not yet reported any coronavirus cases.
“Both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the NFLPA, including our infectious disease experts, to evaluate close contacts, perform additional testing and monitor developments,” the league said in a statement. “All decisions will be made with health and safety as our primary consideration. We will continue to share updates as more information becomes available.”
The Titans added in their own Tuesday statement, “Out of the abundance of caution, the organization has decided to work remotely today as we follow NFL protocols related to the COVID-19 virus. Several tests have come back positive and are working through the process of confirming them. We will have more information tomorrow.”
Contact tracers found 48 close contacts of the eight members of the Titans who tested positive, ESPN reported.
According to the league’s coronavirus guidelines, players who test positive and remain asymptomatic can return to play 10 days after the test or after five days with two consecutive negative tests.
For those who do show symptoms of the virus, they can return 10 days after symptoms first appear and 72 hours after all have subsided. All players must be cleared by team physicians.
The Titans are scheduled to play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Tennessee Sunday, and the Vikings are set to play the Texans in Houston. Neither the NFL nor the individual teams have indicated whether the positive tests will disrupt the upcoming games.
The Vikings announced in a statement that as of Tuesday morning, they have not had any tests come back positive and “will provide further updates” on the football schedule.
“As of this morning, we have not received any positive results from Vikings testing following Sunday's game," the statement said. "Per the NFL protocol, we will suspend in-person club activities and close TCO Performance Center immediately. We will work closely with the NFL and NFLPA to monitor the situation, perform additional testing and determine when the facility can reopen. We will provide further updates regarding this week's football schedule when appropriate.”
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