The NFL disputed a report Monday that claimed several league employees skipped a long line at a state-partnered COVID-19 testing location in New York.
A Gothamist report on Monday claimed that several NFL employees were allowed to skip the line at the midtown Manhattan testing site, something that sparked “outrage among the 100 or so people huddled in the cold" outside in line. A testing site employee “confirmed that they were instructed to give priority” to NFL employees, according to the report.
On Monday night, the NFL said that the five employees who visited the BioReference test center did not skip the line. Instead, spokesman Brian McCarthy told USA Today, the employees had an appointment and gave their screening information prior to entering the facility.
The five employees were set to work Monday’s doubleheader which was happening after the Browns-Raiders game was postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak.
“It was members of the football operations department that are in contact with club and stadium personnel to ensure gameday operations,’’ McCarthy said in a statement, via USA Today. “They work closely with officials at the league who are responsible for replay reviews and are in contact with officials on the field.’’
According to the Gothamist, people were waiting up to three hours in line for their appointments.
As of Monday night, the United States is averaging nearly 142,000 new coronavirus cases each day, an 18% increase over the past two weeks and a figure not seen since late September, according to The New York Times. Officials said Monday that more than 70% of new cases were attributed to the Omicron variant, something that reportedly caused incredibly long lines at testing sites throughout New York over the weekend. About 71% of Americans 12 and older are fully vaccinated.