Sportress of Blogitude

Texans intend to hire hygiene coordinator for team facilities

The Houston Texans are presently exploring how the team will tackle maintaining its facilities amid the COVID-19 outbreak once players and staff are permitted back into them, and the entire process will be overseen by someone with the title of facilities hygiene coordinator.

This staffer, according to a Sports Business Journal report, will be tasked with running “coronavirus risk mitigation,” and the assignment is believed to be “first known case of a major U.S. pro sports team hiring a dedicated industrial hygiene expert.”

Details of the Texans’ plans were laid out by executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby, who described the ideal candidate as someone who will “wake up each morning and go to bed each night thinking about the cleanliness of the facility.”

The facilities hygiene coordinator, upon his or her hiring, will ultimately report to Special Advisor for Medical Administration Geoff Kaplan.

Like every other NFL team, the Texans are currently conducting an all-virtual offseason, a far cry from the traditional OTAs and minicamps that customarily comprise teams’ offseason preparations.

While it’s unclear at this point if and when teams will be allowed back into their facilities — either by the authorization from the NFL, governmental directives or a combination of both — it sounds like the Texans are trying to position themselves to be as prepared as possible for when that happens.

Further, while the Texans are believed to be the first major U.S. pro sports team to actively seek out someone to oversee a program to combat the novel coronavirus, there is no doubt that other NFL teams — not to mention those in other leagues — will pursue similar avenues to better ensure player and staff safety and health given such unprecedented circumstances.