At this point, it is safe to say that this year is in a slump. American culture has struck out with our beloved lineup of sports. When the COVID-19 outbreak accelerated in March & April, it wasn’t long until all professional sports, collegiate sports, and high school sports were postponed. Across the World leagues have canceled their matches and people wondered when we would see a return of sports. Recently the MLB, NBA, and the NHL have resumed with some carefully laid out restrictions. As millions of fans are happy to see the return of their favorite sports, many American universities and colleges are pondering how they could safely facilitate a limited season this year.
COVID-19 Protocols for Professional Sports
With baseball, hockey, and basketball all back there has been a lot of thought placed on how to safely facilitate the limited season. The number one protocol is frequent and quick COVID-19 testing. Because sports teams require players, coaches, and staff to work together for hours a day it is vital that everyone is tested. The NBA has prioritized daily or every other day testing with turnaround times of 12 to 15 hours. Aside from this, most seasons have been limited and are avoiding excessive travel. Teams are also requiring athletes to stay in certain locations to avoid coming in contact with others. Of course, there have already been some issues with COVID-19 and professional athletes. In the MLB, the Saint Louis Cardinals had 10 players and 7 staff members test positive for the virus which forced the team to miss consecutive games. As professional sports leads the way, universities will likely look at the successes and failures of their protocols when making decisions for their teams.
CDC Recommendations for Athletes During the Pandemic
The CDC has provided some recommendations for recreational, high school, and collegiate level sports. First, they identified the level of risk associated with different levels of activity. On the low-risk end of the spectrum; practice drills and scrimmages within a single team are regarded to be safest. In the mid-range; playing against local teams is less safe. The least safe option is any sports season that requires extensive traveling for teams and staff. For this reason, the best option for schools is to either continue having a sports team that practices and plays scrimmages or that only interacts with local nearby schools. However, once again the most important factor will be testing. Professional sports are only resuming thanks to frequent testing of all athletes, coaching staff, and facility staff. Universities will likely need to adopt testing as a part of their athletic plan for students returning to their campuses.
Order COVID-19 Testing
COVID-19 Testing Lab TruGenX provides national testing for COVID-19. We utilize nasopharyngeal swab testing and ship our tests to licensed medical facilities and practitioners. Universities and colleges that are interested in maintaining any level of an athletic program need to integrate regular testing as part of their professional sports program when creating their protocols.