COVID-19 didn’t stop football season this year, but health officials warn sports our kids are about to play could become super spreader events.
This basketball season, you likely won’t see people packed in together on bleachers. Health guidelines will space fans apart, if they’re allowed. But health officials say it’s important to understand the risks involved with attending and participating in the first place.
“You don’t have the air flow inside to disperse the droplets that you will with an outside sporting event. And so the probability of transmission is likely higher,” said Dr. Scott Chavers, an epidemiologist with the Mobile County Health Department.
Studies also show during heavy exercise, because you’re breathing harder, you can transmit a higher viral load, infecting others.
On Friday, the CDC issued a warning about indoor sports. The agency reported a case study where one hockey player infected 14 others during an indoor game that took place in Florida in June.
“You can have a split second contact with enough viral transfer for a positive induvial to infect a negative individual,” said Chavers.
Chavers says shared equipment can also cause the virus to spread.
“You have more individuals touching the ball and so that is now a source of transmission. You also have more close contact on a basketball court because you have your defender and your offensive players and they are closer to each other typically than you do in term of football,” said Chavers.
NBC 15 reached out to numerous municipalities and schools Wednesday to find out details about fan restrictions this season.
The ones that replied said they’re still working on details. The City of Mobile said it would make announcements next week.