CFL provides COVID testing update, reveals eight teams have met 85 percent vaccination threshold

Photo courtesy: CFL

The CFL has issued an update on COVID-19 testing results this, revealing that eight of the league’s nine teams have surpassed the 85 percent vaccination benchmark set this year.

The league’s full statement can be read below.

“Between Weeks 6 and 11 of the CFL season, the league administered approximately 14,200 COVID-19 tests to Tier 1 personnel, which includes players, coaches and support staff.

Those tests returned a total of four positive cases. Please note that, on occasion, tests that come back positive may later be determined to be false positives upon re-testing.

Any individual who tests positive for COVID-19 is prevented from joining – or is removed from – team activities and is isolated or quarantined in accordance with the CFL’s Return to Play Health and Safety protocol and applicable government public health protocols.

As of Week 12, eight-of-nine clubs have met the 85 per cent fully vaccinated milestone. Based on upcoming scheduled vaccination dates, the league anticipates that 93 per cent of current players will be fully vaccinated by October 31. Being fully vaccinated refers to individuals who have had their second dose for a minimum of 14 days.

The CFL will continue to provide updates on tests administered to Tier 1 personnel. But, as a matter of policy, affected individuals and clubs will not be identified.”

Earlier this week, the CFL announced that unvaccinated player affected by impeding regulations on air travel will not be able to play in the Grey Cup playoffs if they don’t travel with their team. The CFLPA is currently examining the legality of that policy.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in August that he wishes he could mandate that players get vaccinated, but is unable to due to the league’s collective bargaining agreement. Ambrosie had stated the league was operating under “informed guidance” that charter flights won’t be exempt from the federal government’s ban, which has since been confirmed for Nov. 30.

As per the CFL’s coronavirus policy: if a team can prove that 85 per cent of its players under contract have been vaccinated, at least once and preferably fully, the athletes will receive their salary for a cancelled game. If a franchise falls below the 85 percent threshold, the entire team will not receive its salary.

The 2021 season has proceeded relatively unaffected by the ongoing pandemic, aside from the outbreak suffered by the Edmonton Elks in August. 13 players were infected with the virus amid the team’s outbreak, which resulted in the rescheduling of a game between the Elks and Argonauts.