Latest COVID-19 data is great news on eve of 2020 NFL season

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 NFL season is set to kick off on Thursday amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the league’s latest COVID-19 data is great news with Week 1 about to begin.

Just two days before the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs face off in the NFL Kickoff Game, the opener to a thrilling Week 1 schedule, the NFL released its latest COVID-19 test results.

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The NFL Players Association, commissioner Roger Goodell and the league’s top medical advisors spent months creating a plan to play football amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With training camp wrapped up and the regular season set to begin, everyone’s hard work and caution has paid off.

On Tuesday, the NFL released its weekly COVID-19 test results for all players and team personnel. Only one new confirmed case of the coronavirus was reported among players with only seven among other personnel.

It’s an improvement over the test results from the final week of training camp, when four players tested positive for COVID-19 during the week-long period. When combined with the data from the start of August, the NFL has seen just four new cases of the virus among players.

This is a huge moment for the NFL and likely represents the final hurdle before Week 1 kicks off, barring a sudden outbreak among one of the 32 clubs. It’s also a testament to the protocols that both the league and players worked so hard to implement.

While the NFL initially drew criticism for its strict COVID-19 protocols, the guidelines have created a safe environment for everyone. The league has also wisely adapted its rules in recent weeks as it learns more about false positives and more information is gathered on the coronavirus.

Initially, the NFL committed to daily COVID-19 testing for the first two weeks of training camp then extended it until the regular season. While being tested has been a bit bothersome, it’s proven to ensure everyone inside the facility is safer and the league has extended the window indefinitely.

Of course, this all comes at a staggering price tag for team owners and the league itself between purchasing testing kits and having laboratories ready to go through every sample. While there have been hiccups along the way, everything is now back on track.

The NFL is preparing for a worst-case scenario, but everyone around the league is confident that there will be a full 2020 season played.