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A resurgent Covid-19 is breaking through the strictest protocols and upending the return of live professional sports – CNN

Basketball and hockey’s respective seasons soon began, too, with additional protocols, mandates and testing requirements for players and staff.

“The sports world, until very recently — like the last week or maybe two weeks — had done a pretty good job of keeping a lid on things and that was because they were actually doing better than most areas of the real world,” said Zach Binney, a sports epidemiologist at Oxford College at Emory University.

What started out as a sports season of hope has turned into one of, yet again, panic and uncertainty as leagues attempt to adapt to the most recent wave of infections, a reflection of what is happening in localities across the country.

Former US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams told CNN’s “New Day” Thursday others should pay attention to pro sports because “they’re really a window into community spread.”

“Kudos to the sports leagues because they are actually doing a fantastic job of surveillance testing,” Adams said. “And the rest of the country, we’re driving a car down a dark road with the headlights off while looking in the rearview mirror, and we hit a bump and we say what was that? That’s our surveillance system right now for Covid.”

Leagues work to control recent surge

All three major sports leagues in season right now — NFL, NBA and NHL — implemented strict testing protocols early on and required at least Tier 1 personnel, like coaches or anyone with direct contact with athletes, to get vaccinated. No major professional sports league in the United States has required its players to be vaccinated. Even without a mandate, large percentages of athletes in each league have received the vaccine, according to numbers from each league. The NFL said Wednesday 94.6% of players are vaccinated. The NBA touted in November that 97% of players were vaccinated, a league source told CNN, and the NHL said in October that all but four players were vaccinated. That has not prevented the most recent outbreaks, though, forcing the leagues to tweak their Covid-19 policies.

As of Tuesday, 28 NFL players have tested positive for Covid-19, just one day after the league reported 37 positive tests Monday.

The league announced a return to more stringent protocols Thursday, which will be effective until Monday, according to a league memo. Teams have to reimpose restrictions such as mandatory mask-wearing while indoors in team facilities, social distancing, grab-and-go meal service in team cafeterias, limits on the number of people allowed in weight rooms, restrictions on activities outside the facility including dining out to eat on the road and all-virtual meetings.

The NFL will also require Tier 1 and Tier 2 staff to get a Covid-19 booster shot by December 27, according to a league memo. This mandate does not apply to NFL players. Tier 1 and Tier 2 staff are coaches and anyone that has direct contact with players.

The NBA and its players’ union recommended all vaccinated players and other personnel in close contact with players receive a booster dose “as soon as possible,” according to a November memo. The memo also noted 26 of the 30 teams compete in areas with Covid-19 transmission that is labeled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “high.”

In a memo Saturday, the NHL and its players’ union outlined “enhanced measures” that will be in place through at least January 7, including a mask requirement at all times inside NHL club facilities and during travel. The league is also restricting dining at indoor restaurants while teams are on the …….

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/18/us/professional-sports-covid-case-increase-spt/index.html

Basketball and hockey’s respective seasons soon began, too, with additional protocols, mandates and testing requirements for players and staff.

“The sports world, until very recently — like the last week or maybe two weeks — had done a pretty good job of keeping a lid on things and that was because they were actually doing better than most areas of the real world,” said Zach Binney, a sports epidemiologist at Oxford College at Emory University.

What started out as a sports season of hope has turned into one of, yet again, panic and uncertainty as leagues attempt to adapt to the most recent wave of infections, a reflection of what is happening in localities across the country. <…….

Basketball and hockey’s respective seasons soon began, too, with additional protocols, mandates and testing requirements for players and staff.

“The sports world, until very recently — like the last week or maybe two weeks — had done a pretty good job of keeping a lid on things and that was because they were actually doing better than most areas of the real world,” said Zach Binney, a sports epidemiologist at Oxford College at Emory University.

What started out as a sports season of hope has turned into one of, yet again, panic and uncertainty as leagues attempt to adapt to the most recent wave of infections, a reflection of what is happening in localities across the country. <…….

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