Cleveland 19 News
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – It is not the kind of safety you expect in football. But with NFL “Draft Days” here in Cleveland, and the draft being held in-person this year, safety is the name of the game to keep everyone healthy.
The National Football League franchises plan to score big over the next three days. By making sure their football prospects and everyone around them tackle COVID-19 by testing healthy during the NFL Draft.
Greg Bokar is the General Manager of Point of Care. The BioReference Laboratories out of New Jersey hired as the NFL’s COVID-19 testing provider. And the company plans to take the ball and run with it. Testing up to a thousand people at each of the three testing sites near the NFL Draft, the Convention Center, the Hilton, and FirstEnergy Stadium.
“So here we’re using a Rapid Point of Care Test. The test itself takes about 30 minutes to run – between swabbing and different pieces of the process it could take about 45 minutes to get your results of the test,” Bokar said.
And while it seems everyone is rushing to get back to football and other favorite past times, the number of people who can actually have a front-row seat to the NFL Draft will be limited as part of the safety protocols. Because the threat of COVID is still real in the game of life, “So this particular test is a lower nasal swab. So, it’s just in the base of the nostril where the test is being performed.”
The NFL will be made aware of anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus about 45 minutes after they test, because they’ll have to be benched during the draft, “We communicate all test results directly to patients by email,” Bokar said.
If you can’t attend the draft, you can still enjoy all that Downtown Cleveland has to offer. You can also reserve tickets for the NFL Draft Experience, an interactive football theme park outside and inside of First Energy Stadium. Events run Thursday through Saturday during the NFL Draft.
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