Roger Goodell tells NFL teams to close facilitiesSporting News — firstname.lastname@example.org (Sporting News)
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has told teams that all club facilities will be closed by Wednesday, with limited exceptions, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across the world, halting professional leagues and delaying the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo until next year. At least 18,900 people have died globally, with more than 422,780 confirmed cases.
As countries enforce stricter measures to combat the spread of the virus, Goodell said the shutdown of facilities will carry on until April 8, when the NFL will determine — with the advice of medical experts and public health officials — whether it is safe to reopen.
Employees providing ongoing medical treatment to players and employees who are necessary to maintaining the security and operational capabilities of the facilities are exempt from the order.
"Over the past week, every NFL club has suspended normal business operations in response to the advice of medical experts and public health authorities," Goodell said in a statement sent to franchises on Tuesday (per NFL Network).
NFL teams, however, are still free to conduct player signings and evaluation of draft prospects, among other operations linked to the 2020 season.
"The challenges we face are not unique — many businesses and individuals throughout the country are experiencing and addressing similar issues," Goodell said. "Please be assured that the NFL is well-positioned to meet these operational challenges as we prepare to offer our fans and the country an outstanding 2020 NFL season."