At the point when Minnesota Vikings players, coaches and other team workers come back to TCO Performance Center for training camp this month, people will be given a proximity tracking device upon entering the facility to help with contact tracing endeavors during the coronavirus pandemic.
The NFL has commanded that contact tracing strategies, including the wearing of such gadgets, must be followed by all team personnel while at the team’s facility.
Eric Sugarman, the Vikings’ head athletic coach and disease control official, disclosed to Twin Cities journalists that the gadgets will monitor the cooperation these people have with one another inside the facility.
The contact tracing system is explicitly for those in the internal levels and will not include media in Tier 2M or 3OA, Sugarman said.
While people in Tier 1 (players, mentors, coaches, doctors, hardware and quality and conditioning staff) and Tier 2 (ownership , representatives, general managers, operations, football administration, communications, video and security staff) are permitted to interface, those with a Tier 3 designation (cleaning service providers, in-house media, broadcast personnel, field maintenance, transportation suppliers) can’t intermix with anybody in Tier 1 and 2.
“Tier 1 and Tier 2 will be with each other,” Sugarman said. “Tier 3 will be the individuals that will not be able to intermix with Tier 1 and Tier 2, and if you come within 6 feet of those people your buzzer will make an alarm sound. If you come within 10 feet, it’s supposed to make a light or vibrate. I haven’t seen the device yet. I haven’t had one on my wrist yet, so I don’t know exactly. But that, in the training, is what was described.”
The goal for the contact tracing system is to track people who become sick in the building or test positive for COVID-19. Sugarman said the Vikings will have the option to in a flash produce a report that will show who an individual was in contact with over the most recent 24 hours.
“The contact tracing program that we have will be very efficient,” Sugarman said. “There’s a company that’s going to oversee it and within seconds be able to generate a report. Let’s say we’re in training camp a month from now and I test and have a positive test. It will be able within minutes to say who I was in contact with for whatever the threshold is, 15 minutes, etc., and I am guessing that any contact tracing program those people will be subject to more testing.”
The NFL has commanded that clubs allot three “COVID protocol coordinators” to oversee testing, screening, contact tracing and implement protocols.