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What the Return of Pro Sports can Teach Us about Combatting COVID-19

Though the viewing experience won’t be what we’re used to, pro sports leagues like the NBA, MLS, WNBA and NHL are working alongside top infectious disease experts to create COVID-free “bubble” locations to safely host sports. Despite early public skepticism, current results are indicating promising outcomes. For example, the NBA and MLS – while hosting their bubbles in Florida – have each tested over 1,000 individuals daily without any new positive tests since July 13th.

So how have these “bubbles” managed to hold off a COVID outbreak? Two main reasons are widespread, frequent testing and limited interaction with those outside the designated area. Leagues are able to supply their players, staff, and media with the required daily testing without depleting the public’s access to these tests by working with private companies that can provide results within hours. The NHL, for example, will have their tests supplied by DynaLIFE and LifeLabs in their Edmonton and Toronto locations, respectively. Additionally, the designated “bubble” areas are restricted exclusively to those same individuals, meaning no one is allowed to enter or leave the area without committing themselves to the same strict quarantining guidelines.

Looking beyond sports, the small sample of these “bubble” case studies have helped illustrate the impact that widespread testing and decreased travel or social exposure can have on slowing the spread of COVID-19. This can certainly be applied to our daily lives, as making sure to get tested for the disease and limit our interaction with those from outside your “social bubble” are great ways to help your community combat the pandemic!

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