NFL’s Ian Rapoport revealed that several Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans players had tested positive for Covid-19.
What We Know:
- Soon after the release of Rapoport’s statement it was stated that Ezekiel Elliot was amongst the players in question with no other names revealed at the time. This would be the second time Elliot had been mentioned as a positive Covid-19 tester.
- In April, it was stated that Elliot had been seen at a Cowboys’ dinner party with quarterback Dak Prescott, in short of the stay-at-home procedures around the US. Prescott would soon issue an apology for his negligence during the pandemic.
- After being released as one of the players who tested positive, Elliot complained that the release of the information was in violation of HIPPA. It is stated that under HIPPA, the release of information shared by a physician without consent would violate the patient’s right to privacy. But if results are released by family, friends, or sources other than the physician then no violation has occurred.
- This means that reporters can release medical information with out the consent of the player. Michael McCann further explained in his tweet:
Journalists reporting on NFL players who test positive for COVID-19 aren’t covered entities under HIPAA and so aren’t violating HIPAA. Often employers and representatives (outside of those in health care) aren’t covered entities, either. And HIPAA has no private right of action.
— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) June 15, 2020
- Once HIPPA regulations had been clarified, Elliot began to retract his statement saying that his publisher had released the information.
My agent only confirmed. The story was already written. Reporters had been called my agent all morning.
— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) June 15, 2020
- The NFL Declined to speak on Elliot’s condition saying that it would violate their privacy laws.
The NFL is still in the process of establishing protocols for the return of players, including what would happen in the case of positive tests, but there is still no definitive plan.