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NFL Coronavirus Testing: Top Stories, Sports and Business News — Sept. 17

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These are the stories shaping sports and business on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020.

Tom Brady's Coaches Speak Out

After Brett Favre criticized Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians for calling out Tom Brady following Brady’s disappointing Bucs debut, Arians insisted everything between him and his quarterback are fine.

Of Favre’s comments, Arians said, "Tom and I are fine. I don't really care what other people think. So it's just what he and I think. We left the stadium fine. We showed up today fine. There ain't nothin' to talk about." 

Meanwhile, game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat is Thursday night with Jimmy Butler and company trying to take a 2-0 lead after winning game 1 in overtime. Tip off is at 7pm ET.

Daily Coronavirus Update

According to Johns Hopkins, there are over 29.9 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 942,000 deaths. The U.S. has surpassed 6.6 million cases with 197,000 deaths.

New York City is delaying in-person public school openings for most students once again. The delay comes from Mayor Bill de Blasio. Students had been expected to return to in-person classes starting next Monday, but now in-person learning at K-5 and K-8 schools will be delayed until Sept. 29, while in-person learning at middle schools will be delayed until Oct. 1.

However, on Monday, in-person learning will start for 3-K, Pre-K and District 75 schools--which serve special education kids. Kids in blended learning will start remote full-day instruction on Monday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said that this decision came after teacher union and city leaders worked in a “respect spirit” to address some concerns about the return of in-person schooling, and one particular concern was staffing.

However, the mayor noted that the union and the city feel pretty confident about ventilation, cleaning and PPE, which had been prior concerns.

2,500 more educators will be added to the system by the city, according to the Mayor. And these will be pooled from the Department of Education’s substitute teachers, DoE staff and the CUNY system.

NFL Coronavirus Cases

The National Football League reported seven positive coronavirus tests, including two players, out of the more than 40,000 tests administered from Sept. 6 through Sept. 12.

That number includes players from the Chiefs and Texans who played the NFL’s kickoff game on Thursday. The results of tests from the full slate of games from over the weekend won’t be available until next week.

The week prior, the NFL administered a total of 53,000 tests, including 44,500 player tests, with one player and seven non-player personnel testing positive.

Since padded practices began in mid-August, the league has administered more than 80,000 tests to just players through Saturday. Since then, seven players have tested positive.

The NFL has had the benefit of starting its season on-time and, so far, without interruption from the coronavirus pandemic.

And while the league has faced criticism for not following the NBA, NHL and MLS decisions to operate in a controlled bubble, other protocols like requiring coaches and personnel on the sidelines to wear face masks seem to be working so far.

The NFLPA, which is the players union, pushed for daily COVID-19 testing for players with the exception of game day, which the league agreed to.

Players are not required to wear face masks on the sideline, though they are strongly recommended to by the NFL, except for in San Francisco and Buffalo where local regulations require it.

Players that test positive are immediately isolated in a separate room, required to wear a mask and then transported home to quarantine. If the player is asymptomatic, he can return after 10 days have passed since the initial positive test or five days have passed since the initial positive test, and the player receives two consecutive negative PCR virus tests at least 24 hours apart.

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