After months of being shut down, several states around the country are beginning to slowly reopen following the COVID-19 pandemic. While the curve has somewhat been flattened, it remains to be seen whether a second wave is imminent. Some states are opening more quickly than others, such as Texas -- which has seen a rise in cases recently. Unfortunately, members of the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans may have been affected by this recent spike. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, several Cowboys players and Texans players have tested positive for the coronavirus.
None of the players are believed to have been in their team facilities, and the teams have been following the proper health protocols. Rapoport says that one of the players who tested positive is Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott. Per Patrik Walker of CBS Sports, Elliott is asymptomatic and doing well. He was tested as a precaution. Last month, NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said that they fully expect they will have some positive cases, and the challenge would be to identify them as quickly as possible and prevent the spread. According to Rapoport, the teams appear to have done that.
CBS News reported on Sunday that the number of people in Texas hospitalized from the coronavirus hit a record high of 2,287 this past weekend. The state has continued to move forward with its reopening plan, with restaurants being allowed to increase capacity to 75% and almost all businesses allowed to operate with 50% capacity on Friday. Texas has conducted more than 1.4 million tests, aggressively targeting certain areas. Earlier this month, Texas Governor Greg Abbott made the decision to transition into Phase 3 of reopening. In this order, Abbott permitted sports venues -- among other businesses -- to expand their capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent.
Just last week, the NFL sent a memo to teams detailing several safety measures such as locker room setups, social distancing guidelines and how to host workouts. The NFL is hoping to return to business as usual in the near future, but with that will come some positive tests. This will be an interesting case study to see if teams can control the spread among members of the team/staff and if these new developments will halt any further progress regarding reopening facilities.