Some members of the Jacksonville Jaguars staff, sans any players or coaches, have begun to head back to work at TIAA Bank Field as the team began phase one of the reopening of team facilities on Tuesday.
There have been restrictions on all NFL facilities since early March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, teams are beginning to slowly trickle back to their home facilities, with teams such as the Jaguars taking a holistic approach to the process.
“The reopening of the Jaguars office under established NFL guidelines represents a positive next step toward the return of Jaguars football,” said Jaguars President Mark Lamping in a statement last week.
“The Jaguars have remained open for business throughout the last several weeks, and I’m exceptionally proud of how our employees transitioned to virtual collaboration. They maintained the same high standard of customer service our fans have come to expect and have found creative ways to keep fans informed, engaged, active and entertained. Just as we will do for our fans, players and coaches, the Jaguars will continue to take all necessary precautions to ensure the well-being of our staff.”
Head athletic trainer Scott Trulock will serve as the team's newly-appointed infection control officer during the reopening of facilities, while the Jaguars have organized an Infectious Response Team with team leadership, medical personnel, and security, operations, and legal department members.
A maximum of 75 employees, but no more than 50% of the Jaguars' football staff, will be allowed to be on site at TIAA Bank Field. This group includes members from the team's football operations, strength and conditioning, athletic training, equipment, facility management and technology departments.
Coaches, and players who are not undergoing medical rehabilitation at the stadium, are not yet allowed at TIAA Bank Field, while all non-employee visitors are also being kept away from the facilities.
"All employees that return to the facility will do so on a voluntary basis, as long as they are comfortable returning to the stadium," the Jaguars said.
To address the current pandemic, social distancing protocols have been implemented, with markings installed on the floor of the facilities, the Jaguars said. There are also new processes for auditing cleaning practices, and masks must be worn in the stadium by employees unless they are alone in their office.