Eight Saints staff tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Panthers game
The Saints have seen eight reported cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday, including six offensive coaches, a player and a nutritionist, according to ESPN.
The player in question appears to be wide receiver Michael Thomas, who was added to the reserve / COVID-19 list on Tuesday. He was already on the list of physically incapable of performing, so this case won’t affect the Saints for this week’s game.
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The Saints have not released any further information on the cases, although the status of the affected coaches for Sunday’s game against the Panthers is questionable.
Coach Sean Payton announced that the entire coaching staff had been vaccinated. The vaccination status of Thomas and the nutritionist is unknown.
That said, NFL players and coaching staff are tested every day regardless of vaccination status. Therefore, if the vaccinated are asymptomatic and tested negative twice every 24 hours, they are allowed to return to the team. But if they are not vaccinated, they must isolate themselves for at least 10 days, even if they are asymptomatic. The Saints are now following the NFL’s improved attenuation protocols, which include wearing masks indoors and daily testing.
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This is the first major COVID-19 outbreak in the NFL this season, and it came right after Week 1. The NFL announced on September 3 that 93 percent of players had been vaccinated. So far, only two teams have been fully vaccinated: the Falcons and the Buccaneers.
This is not the first time the Saints have made headlines regarding COVID-19. In March 2020, Payton became the first person connected to the NFL to contract COVID-19.
GM Mickey Loomis confirmed that Saints are looking at some COVID cases and improved protocols, but did not provide many details. Said Saints has a trainer in Sean Payton who does a great job dealing with adversity and “we will deal with it”. https://t.co/1dzttSGPPM
– Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) September 15, 2021
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