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I am much more optimistic than I was last year simply because we have safe and effective vaccinations we’re able to deploy and create safer environments, there were so many things we did n’t know entering last season. We are in a much better place than last year and we have these important tools to use in this battle.
Symptom reporting is more important than ever, vaccinated people may have very different symptoms. Last year, for those who had COVID-19, they might have a high fever and chills and trouble breathing... and with the vaccination they may have only nasal congestion or a mild sore throat or a headache or fatigue.
It goes back to those four basic things we talked about in the paper with cumulative time, distance, ventilation and masks. If you think about those four factors as being four different quadrants, if you’re failing in two or more of those, then that’s going to become a high risk for a transmission, i always talked about the big three, which was: meeting, eating and greeting.
We have not seen any evidence of on-field transmission in The NFL games or practices, i think that The NFL is The NFL. The NFL’s certainly The NFL that many people raised before we started as to why The NFL occurred. I think there are a number of theories that people have advanced. One of them is that obviously we’re playing either in an open area or at least an extremely large air environment where we’ve got a lot of ventilation, a lot of movement and likely quick dispersal of any droplets or particles.
We do have some contingency planning, weve had it all year, and they are first driven by medical safety. Can we operate in the market in a way that is consistent with what we are doing and have been doing? Some of our clubs who have been operating in areas of high numbers of cases of the disease, those clubs have managed to avoid positive tests. That speaks to the hard work they are doing and care they are taking every day. So we will continue to follow that same road map. It has been a sound game plan. Have to continue to execute in the same manner that we have executed so far.
They will get all the data, synthesize it all and work with the clubs personnel, and then prepare a report which they will bring back to our committee that oversees our day-to-day COVID operations, and then I will review that report, so it is multilayered, with staff and many other people. On some days we might have only two to three traces and some days have 14 to 15 going on.
I almost think of it as almost like blocking and tackling, players can make the long runs and great catches, but we all know without outstanding blocking its not possible to execute those plays. That process has to me been really foundational, and a tremendous amount of work is involved with a very large number of people. Its more than the (tracking) devices; they are important, but not the sum total of our contact tracing. Whats involved is interviewing individuals, gathering all that data from the tracking devices, and watching the video from team facilities and practice fields, talking to an individuals friends and family and others who may be involved.
Given sports shutdown in March because of COVID-19, this will be the first season that NFL players try to get ready on the field after conducting minicamps virtually during the offseason. We often say physical distance and football dont go together, pretty impossible to keep 6 feet apart on the field, so that causes you to look for other innovations which could possibly be a flag bearer, and we think this falls into that category.
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