A staff member of the Washington Football Team tested positive for the omicron variant of COVID-19, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed.
The staff member — not part of the team’s football side — was a Tier 3 designation, meaning they were not allowed to be around players. The positive test is believed to be the first instance of the omicron variant in the NFL, according to the NFL Network, which first reported the news.
The result comes amid an outbreak on the team. Since last week, nine players have been added to the league’s COVID-19 reserve list. Four players were added Monday, including star defensive tackle Jonathan Allen.
ESPN reported the employee who tested positive for the variant “followed league protocol guidelines immediately” upon receiving the diagnosis. The league reportedly had 36 positive COVID tests Monday, the most in a single day since the league began its coronavirus protocols in 2020.
According to the NFL‘s transaction wire, 25 players were added to the COVID-19 reserve list and 11 were added to the practice-squad COVID reserve list.
With Washington’s surge in cases, the team is in enhanced protocols this week with players now requested to meet virtually, test daily and wear masks indoors at the team facility. The nine players who have tested positive include Allen, defensive end Montez Sweat, defensive end James Smith-Williams, defensive end Casey Toohill, cornerback Darryl Roberts, linebacker Khaleke Hudson, linebacker David Mayo, defensive end William Bradley-King and tight end Temarrick Hemingway. Bradley-King and Hemingway are on the team’s practice squad.
The NFL has yet to postpone a game this season because of positive tests.
For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.