UPDATED: June 15, 2020 12:52 PM
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The NFL Network is reporting that several Dallas Cowboys players — including Ezekiel Elliott — have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
CBS 11 Sports reached out to the Cowboys for comments on the story that reports “multiple” members of the team have tested positive for COVID-19 and received the following response:
“Due to federal and local privacy laws, we are unable to provide information regarding the personal health of any of our employees. We are following all CDC, local and NFL guidelines to keep our facilities safe, including limiting employee access.“
The comment from the Cowboys is not a denial, especially considering Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) laws prevent the team from officially commenting on matters regarding the health of players.
Hours after reports of the positive tests, Zeke tweeted out the word “HIPPA” with a question mark, but did not confirm the reports of his positive infection.
— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) June 15, 2020
While several players have reportedly tested positive there has been no confirmation that any Dallas Cowboys player is facing a serious health threat or has been hospitalized.
According to NFL analyst Ian Rapoport, it was just one month ago when NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said, “We fully expect that we will have positive cases that arise. …Our challenge is to identify them as quickly as possible and prevent spread to any other participants.”
#Cowboys star RB Ezekiel Elliott is one of the players who has tested positive for the Coronavirus, his agent Rocky Arceneaux confirmed to me. Arceneaux said Elliott is feeling good.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 15, 2020
In addition to the Cowboys, there are reports that several players for the Houston Texans have also tested positive. None of the players are believed to have been at team facilities in Frisco or Houston when they contracted the infection.
The number of people in Texas hospitalized from the coronavirus hit a record high of 2,287 this past weekend. Just Friday the state continued moving forward with its reopening plan, with restaurants being allowed to increase capacity to 75% and almost all businesses allowed to operate with 50% capacity.
News of the possible positive coronavirus tests come on the same day as Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith joined with Governor Greg Abbott’s office to release a new public service announcement titled, “Wear A Mask On And Off The Field.”
— Jack Fink (@cbs11jack) June 15, 2020
In the PSA, Smith urges Texans to wear a mask to protect themselves and others and follow health and safety guidelines like washing their hands and practicing social distancing.
In Governor Abbott’s order for Phase 3 of reopening, sports venues — among other businesses — have been permitted to expand their capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent.