COVID-19 has put a halt to nearly all public events for over 3 months, sports fans in particular have been eagerly awaiting the return of professional sports.
Globally, sports leagues are looking to restart games even without fans in the stadiums – however there must be protocols in place to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus during play.
Capital 10X has looked to Dr. Glenn Copeland to understand the new sports reality better. Dr. Copeland is Chairman of MedQuest’s Medical Advisory Committee, MedQuest is a subsidiary of QuestCap (CSE:QSC). He is also Director of Medical Services for the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League.
Here are the 5 health guidelines that Dr. Copeland says leagues should adhere to for the safe return of professional sport.
Divide the Playing Facility into 3 Zones
The new sports playing reality will have no fans in the stands and the facility will be separated into three distinct areas:
- The outside zone: This is where the general population lives.
- The middle zone: The entrance of the facility where all participants (players, coaches & trainers) will be tested.
- The inner zone: Where only those participants who tested negative for COVID-19 can enter.
Test Everyone, Everyday
Testing will be a prerequisite for everyone to enter the inner zone, there will be absolutely no exceptions, everyone from players, coaches, media to food service personnel.
Testing will include antibody/antigen testing, nasal swab testing, temperature checks, symptom checks, and evaluation by a healthcare practitioner.
Gather & Monitor All Data
It will be mandatory to gather all medical data for participants on a daily basis, Dr. Copeland recommends that data is gathered as participants move from zone to zone.
Data that will be monitored will include temperature readings, physical symptoms and blood testing.
By tracking and monitoring all data the hope is that the leagues will be able to pick up symptoms in the early stage of infection for participants.
Modify Social Interactions During Play & Enhanced Sanitation
Some of the most traditional sports interactions, such as high-fives and hugs, will no longer be allowed in the new COVID-19 sports dynamic.
Additionally, players can not share towels, water bottles or warm-up bats. All shared practice areas will need to be sanitized between each player’s use, while player equipment will be sanitized on a daily basis.
Dr. Copeland recommends that every clubhouse should be fully sanitized at least twice every 24 hours.
Social Distancing, Everywhere
Players will have to maintain a strict social distancing protocol both within the playing facility and in the outside world.
Participants are expected to socially distance even within the inner zone, this includes the clubhouse, lunchroom and training areas.
Outside of the inner zone participants are expected to follow strict social distancing protocols as well. They will not be able to participate in large gatherings, no socializing with friends that are not part of the team and there will be no intermingling with fans.
Bottom Line: Sports Are Coming Back
The world can resume professional sports once again provided that leagues follow strict health guidelines to protect all participants.
Dr. Copeland and MedQuest are working with professional sports leagues to bring sports back in the safest manner by following a prescriptive set of social guidelines, testing procedures, data gathering and sanitation protocols.
QuestCap is a market awareness client.
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