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NFL agrees to daily testing as coronavirus protocols, 49ers’ report dates come into focus

© Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Despite having a more than four-month head start to prepare protocols and an apparatus for coronavirus testing, the NFL is coming down to the wire just before training camp in putting procedures in place. The league, according to multiple reports, has acquiesced to the NFL Players Association’s long-standing request for daily testing, at least at the start of training camp, which is scheduled to begin for all teams July 28. The league was initially in favor of every other day testing, but has agreed to daily testing for the first two weeks.

According to multiple reports, including NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, after that two-week window, testing will become every other day if less than five percent of players and Tier 1/2 individuals test positive. As of yet, there has been no clear explanation for the five percent rule, and why the threshold is not, instead, zero percent testing positive to move to every other day testing.

As it pertains to the 49ers, rookies will not report on the 21st, but later two days later, per Matt Barrows of The Athletic. They, along with quarterbacks and injured players, will report on Thursday. Before players can participate or enter the facility, they must test negative twice, which effectively means a minimum of two days of waiting for results following the first day of testing. As Pelissero reported, the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills said results are expected within 24 hours.

Teams will report to their facility and be tested in what amount to a large testing truck parked outside the facility. BioReference Laboratories will administer the tests. Per ProFootballTalk, BioReference will provide 120 tests per day with additional tests incurring $125 charges each.

Per Pelissero, there will be a two-day buffer between tests. This means camp can’t begin in earnest until August 1 and potentially August 2 or later if the results from July 31 tests don’t come back on time.


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