According to Ben Goessling of the StarTribune, the Minnesota Vikings are scheduled to reopen their team facility in Eagan this week.
The facility will be open to 60 employees who are voluntarily reporting to TCO Performance Center. Players and coaches will continue to work remotely.
The Vikings’ full statement on reopening their facility today: pic.twitter.com/Ch264v91Y1— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingStrib) June 8, 2020
It has been nearly three months since the Vikings closed their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This reopening news comes as a breath of fresh air as fans await the start of the 2020 season.
The team released a statement Monday stating that they are following the guidelines set in place by state and local officials, along with the NFL’s. This will keep the focus on the health and safety of everyone within the organization.
As we begin this phase of reintroducing a small number of employees to the facility, our number one priority will be to protect the well-being of these staff members and their families. We have thorough measures in place and will follow recommendations from public health officials, as well as our own internal COVID-19 Committee and Infection Response Team. We will also continue to work remotely whenever possible, which has been extremely successful. Our staff has shown outstanding collaboration and creativity in producing compelling content for Vikings fans, using our platform to have a positive impact on our community and continuing to prepare for the 2020 NFL season.Andrew Miller – Vikings Chief Operating Officer
The returning employees have completed training and a health survey, according to the team. They were selected based on their need to access the facility to “effectively complete their job duties.” Everyone must also wear personal protective equipment (PPE).
Players and coaches do not have access yet, but there will be a list of requirements they must adhere to when they do return.
The new NFL-NFLPA requirements state each team must limit workouts to 15 players. They must also stagger player appointments with staff, disinfect equipment after each use, and conduct meetings virtually or outside when possible.
The league has also implemented a tier-based system to minimize interactions between different groups.
Tier 1 – Essential personnel (players, coaches, athletic trainers, doctors, head equipment staff). They must wear PPE unless restricting athletic-related tasks.
Tier 2 – General Manager and ownership. These individuals must wear PPE or maintain social distancing between themselves and Tier 1 individuals.
Tier 3 – Field managers, cleaning crews, stadium and broadcast personnel, etc. will only be allowed in restricted areas when Tier 1 individuals are not around.
This is a great sign for Vikings fans, who have seen other leagues face daunting restart plans. The NFL season has yet to fall into any sort of deep trouble. The NFL is still hoping to remain on schedule with some number of fans in the stands.
COVID-19 seems to cause new issues daily, but the Vikings are prepared to “follow future guidelines set by state and local public health officials and the NFL…”.
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