NFL Releases New Cleaning Protocols for Reopening Team Facilities

June 9, 2020

NFL teams may soon be required to ramp up their facility cleaning services and staff based on new protocols outlined in a memo the league and the NFL Players Association (NFLPLA) issued earlier this week.

The memo sent to the NFL’s 32 teams outlines reopening procedures, including cleaning and disinfecting protocols, for players’ return to team facilities after being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, ESPN reports.

While no timetable has been set for reopening, the memo details a tiered-approach with protocols for physical distancing, infection prevention, and cleaning and disinfecting of facilities, both practice and stadiums, as well as equipment.

The memo states that prior to opening facilities to players, facilities must be closed to all personnel for a 48-hour period “to permit deep, comprehensive cleaning disinfection by a professional service.” The memo also outlines cleaning procedures once a facility reopens stating that a facility must retain cleaning staff sufficient to clean, disinfect, and sanitize all common areas that players access both before they arrive to the facility and after they depart the facility. “Clubs must retain staff sufficient to meet these requirements, including by retaining a daytime and nighttime cleaning staff, if necessary,” the memo stated.

The cleaning requirements in the memo state that all high-touch surfaces in common areas in the facility must be cleaned at least three times a day with hospital-grade EPA List N disinfectants. All other surfaces must be cleaned at least once daily with this type of disinfectant.

Some NFL teams like the Miami Dolphins have a head start on their post-pandemic facility cleaning protocols by committing to achieving the new GBAC STAR™ accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC), a division of ISSA. The Dolphins announced in May they will work to establish and maintain a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program for the 65,000-seat Hard Rock Stadium, providing both employees and attendees with assurance proper protocols are in place. Hard Rock Stadium will be the first public facility to receive GBAC STAR™ accreditation.