In further efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent out a memo to all NFL teams on Tuesday night notifying them that all club facilities would be closed at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday, with limited exceptions, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported.
The shutdowns will carry on until April 8 when the NFL will determine, with the advice of medical experts and public health authorities, whether it’s safe to reopen the facilities or elongate their closures.
“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’s statement began. “Last week, we agreed with the NFLPA to close all facilities to players other than those receiving medical treatment and rehabilitation. In the succeeding days, clubs took further steps to respond to current conditions and directed all but a limited number of staff to work remotely. In part, these changes were prompted by state or local government orders to ‘stat at home’ but in many other cases, clubs changed their practices to contribute to the national effort to employ remote work options as an essential element to reducing the rate of transmission of the COVID-19 virus and the risk of exposure.
“To ensure that all clubs operate on a level playing field, and that the NFL continues to conduct itself in a responsible way at this time, it is appropriate to outline certain principles that will apply during the current period. These principles have been reviewed with and endorsed by the Competition Committee and will remain in effect until further notice.”
In the statement, it outlines the exceptions for who can work at facilities: employees providing ongoing medical treatment to players, as well as employees necessary to maintaining the security and operational capabilities of the facilities.
Though facilities are closed, teams are still free to conduct the signing of players, evaluation of draft prospects, selling tickets and other operations in regards to preparation for the 2020 season.
The notice of the impending closure of all club facilities comes a day after all NFL-related physicals were indefinitely discontinued.
“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.”