NEW YORK ( Associated Press) – The NFL’s chief physician says asymptomatic players are not spreading COVID-19 based on his observations this season.
Dr. Allen Sills appeared on the NFL network on Thursday and said the league “has not seen this phenomenon that people have been discussing, namely the asymptomatic spread of the virus among the people in the institution.”
Sills told ESPN later Thursday, “We have a lot of people with symptoms.”
“Can I tell you tonight that there has never been a case of someone without symptoms passing it on to someone else? No, of course I can’t say that, ”he told ESPN. “But what I can tell you is that I think this is a very, very tiny part of the problem, if it exists at all.”
He also told ESPN that “the asymptomatic transmission in our facilities just didn’t match what we saw.”
He told the NFL network that the key to success is “recognizing symptoms and testing quickly.”
“When we went back and looked throughout the season, we constantly saw that when people have symptoms, they seem infectious to others,” he said. “And that’s why we ask people to come forward and acknowledge the symptoms, because this is the moment when they are vulnerable and the moment when they open up to others.”
Over the weekend, the NFL agreed with the NFL Players’ Association to reduce testing for vaccinated players. The move was agreed with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, which recommends “diagnostic testing” only for vaccinated people with symptoms or close contact, and “screening tests” only for unvaccinated people.
In the past, the NFL required vaccinated players to be tested weekly before amending protocols. The NFLPA advocated daily testing of vaccinated players, but eventually agreed to “targeted” testing.
The league has seen a surge in COVID-19 over the past couple of weeks, and Cleveland Brown center JC Tretter, president of the players’ union who has pushed for daily COVID-19 testing throughout the season, tested positive for the virus on Thursday.
More Associated Press NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://apnews.com/hub/pro-32 and https://twitter.com/ Associated Press_NFL