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Dr. Fauci addresses the NFL season start



May 11, 2020

'Virus will make the decision' on 2020 NFL season per Fauci

    With the COVID-19 pandemic looming over the start of the NFL season, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says, "the virus will make the decision for us," regarding the start.

"I think it's feasible that negative-testing players could play to an empty stadium," Fauci told Peter King of NBCSports. "Is it guaranteed? No way ... If the virus is so low that even in the general community the risk is low, then I could see filling a third of the stadium or half the stadium so people could be six feet apart. ... that's something that is again feasible depending on the level of infection. I keep getting back to that: It's going to depend.

"Like, right now, if you fast forward, and it is now September ... I say you can't have a season - it's impossible. There's too much infection out there. It doesn't matter what you do. But I would hope that by the time you get to September it's not gonna be the way it is right now."

Fauci acknowledged that the NFL - unlike other North American sports leagues - with the exception of the UFC - has time on its side. But he said diligent testing and responses to a potential second wave of the virus will determine how the campaign unfolds.

"(The season) will be entirely dependent on the effectiveness with which we as a society respond to the inevitable outbreak that will occur ... What we're saying is, 'what is going to be the effectiveness of our response?'" he said.

He continued: "Even if the virus goes down dramatically in June and July and August, as the virus starts returning in the fall ... shame on us if we don't have in place all of the mechanisms to prevent it from blowing up again.

"In other words, enough testing to test everybody that needs to be tested. Enough testing so that when someone gets infected, you could immediately do contact tracing and isolation to prevent the infection from going to a couple of infections to hundreds of infections. That's how you control an outbreak."

The NFL released a full 17-week regular-season schedule last week and is developing contingency plans amid the health crisis. Proposals for secondary strategies reportedly could include staging games in empty stadiums and delaying the Super Bowl until the end of February.

RELATED =================

May 6, 2020

NFL prepares ticket refund policy in event of canceled games, empty stadiums

      The NFL will release its full 17-week schedule on Thursday, but they're imposing a ticket refund plan should games be canceled or played without fans in attendance due to the current health crisis.

Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to all 32 teams, outlining a baseline for full refunds on tickets bought directly from the teams.

"All clubs will have in place a policy under which, if a game is canceled, or is played under conditions that prohibit fans from attending, anyone purchasing a ticket directly from the club will have the option of either receiving a full refund or applying the amount paid toward a future ticket purchase directly from the club," the memo reads, according to The Associated Press.

Teams will be in communication with fans over the next number of days regarding refund details.



Ran DeBord - All Access Sporting News

 Follow @AASNSports on Twitter, or me, @RanDeBord

Attributes: AASNSports; ThePostandCourier; NBCSports

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