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A COVID-19 outbreak has hit the Dallas Cowboys; here’s how team sports carry coronavirus risks – The Dallas Morning News

A COVID-19 outbreak has hit the Dallas Cowboys hard, illuminating just how risky team sports can be when it comes to the spread of the coronavirus, public health experts say.

The outbreak has put several Cowboys players and coaches, including head coach Mike McCarthy, in lockdown as the team prepares for Thursday night’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

Despite the NFL’s detailed COVID-19 policies for its teams, half a dozen Cowboys players have been put on reserve for COVID-19 since Nov. 19. In total, 19 Cowboys players have been put on reserve for COVID-19 since the preseason, meaning they either tested positive or were exposed to the virus while unvaccinated.

Across the NFL, the Cowboys are at or near the top of the list for COVID-19 cases this year, but they had among the fewest cases last year.

On his weekly appearance on the Shan & RJ radio show on 105.3 The Fan (KRLD-FM), owner Jerry Jones said the Cowboys have received positive grades from the NFL for their adherence to league protocols.

“I’m very confident as to our ability to actually have [a] protocol that limits an outbreak or limits the COVID affecting the team,” Jones said. “I think we’re one of the best. This certainly, though, has been a setback.”

Other NFL franchises have also struggled to control the spread of the virus. With team sports like football, this isn’t entirely surprising, experts said. And the NFL isn’t the only league to be rocked by COVID-19 — as coronavirus cases rise in the NBA, officials are urging players, coaches and staff to get booster shots.

“There’s been a long history of constant concern and precautions that are taken in contact sports to prevent disease,” said Erin Carlson, director of graduate public health programs at the University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation.

Carlson and other health experts agreed to speak generally about COVID-19 and team sports but declined to comment specifically on the Cowboys because they don’t know the team or its dynamics.

Several factors can increase the risk of virus transmission on a sports team, including the environment in which a sport is played and how much exertion it requires, Carlson said.

“Every time that you have [a more intense] level of breathing, you’re going to have more respiratory droplets that are going to go into the air,” she said. Screaming fans can also increase the amount of respiratory droplets.

Professional football is largely played in open stadiums, lowering the risk of COVID-19 transmission, experts said. But during training, teams are more likely to gather together inside practice facilities. The Cowboys mainly practice outdoors at The Star in Frisco.

“Working out indoors would be more risky, but you’re also in the locker room together. It’s certainly a good way to spread the virus,” said Catherine Troisi, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Troisi would not comment specifically on the Cowboys.

Worried that there could be a spike in COVID-19 cases during the holiday season, NFL officials decided to implement stricter protocols around Thanksgiving.

On Nov. 17, the league announced an indoor mask mandate, regardless of …….

Source: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2021/12/01/a-covid-19-outbreak-has-hit-the-dallas-cowboys-heres-how-team-sports-carry-coronavirus-risks/

A COVID-19 outbreak has hit the Dallas Cowboys hard, illuminating just how risky team sports can be when it comes to the spread of the coronavirus, public health experts say.

The outbreak has put several Cowboys players and coaches, including head coach Mike McCarthy, in lockdown as the team prepares for Thursday night’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

Despite the NFL’s detailed COVID-19 policies for its teams, half a dozen Cowboys players have been put on reserve for COVID-19 since Nov. 19. In total, 19 Cowboys players have been put on reserve for COVID-19 since the preseason, meaning…….

A COVID-19 outbreak has hit the Dallas Cowboys hard, illuminating just how risky team sports can be when it comes to the spread of the coronavirus, public health experts say.

The outbreak has put several Cowboys players and coaches, including head coach Mike McCarthy, in lockdown as the team prepares for Thursday night’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

Despite the NFL’s detailed COVID-19 policies for its teams, half a dozen Cowboys players have been put on reserve for COVID-19 since Nov. 19. In total, 19 Cowboys players have been put on reserve for COVID-19 since the preseason, meaning…….

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