Browns facility remains closed as they await COVID-19 test results and conduct more contact tracing – cleveland.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Browns facility remains closed this morning as they await COVID-19 test results and continue to conduct contact tracing from their five positive tests on Tuesday.

The club will continue to work virtually until they get the green light to open back up they prepare for their Wildcard playoff game Sunday night against the Steelers.

Kevin Stefanski and left guard Joel Bitonio were among the five who tested positive for the virus on Tuesday and must sit out the game. The others are receiver KhaDarel Hodge, tight ends coach Drew Petzing and defensive backs coach Jeff Howard.

They join six other players and three other coaches also currently on COVID-19 reserve or in isolation because of the virus.

Browns center JC Tretter, president of the NFLPA, acknowledged on a video conference Tuesday the NFL and its partners are still trying to make sure that the club’s facility is safe and not the reason for the recent positives.

“We’ve got our staff and the NFL staff as well as our third party contact tracers (doing all of that work now and figuring out where this virus is coming from, how is it being transmitted, as well as deeming high-risk close contacts,’’ Tretter said. “Another thing to talk about with the high-risk close contacts, what we’ve found when you talk about close contacts, the CDC has a definition is that as the year’s gone on, we’ve found that some people were still slipping through the cracks with that definition, so that’s why we’ve come up with the high-risk close contact where instead of just looking at within six feet for 15 cumulative minutes.

“We really look at the type of interaction that went on and no type of interaction is the same, but we make better judgements by figuring out what exactly went on, how risky was that interaction, as we figure out how the virus is being transmitted and who likely could be at an increased risk for contracting the virus as we do that, so that process is still going on, so that’s something we’ll have to know in the next couple of days or maybe even tonight by the time the process is finished.’’

If any players or coaches are deemed high risk contacts, they can play in the game Sunday night providing five days have passed since their exposure to the positive individual.

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