The NFL is finally responding to the coronavirus pandemic. With ongoing discussion that the league could postpone the start of free agency, the NFL has announced it will be cancelling all pre-draft travel and pre-draft prospect visits ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft.
“We have not taken this step lightly but believe that it is most consistent with protecting the health of our club personnel, draft eligible players, and the public,” a league memo read, via Pro Football Talk. “It also has the ancillary benefit of ensuring competitive equity.”
While in-person visits are cancelled — and a number of universities shutting down their pro day workouts — the league will allow telephone or videoconferences with prospects.
Teams are limited to three interactions with prospects per week and each conference can last no longer than one hour.
The coronavirus outbreak has led to the cancellation or postponing of many large events including the NCAA Tournament, Coachella, SXSW, the Winter X Games, Stagecoach, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and more. The NBA, NHL, and MLS have temporarily suspended their seasons.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in China, it has now reached many countries around the world including the United States. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.