MEMPHIS, Tenn. — COVID concerns have stopped play for at least two Mid-South football teams this opening week.
Wooddale called off its game against Collierville High, and Kingsbury’s game against Raleigh Egypt was also postponed.
Dr. Steve Threlkeld, infectious disease specialist with Baptist, acknowledges there are unknowns in a lot of situations, like how the virus could transmit the most in different sports.
“Every sport is different,” Threlkeld said. “Some are indoors, some are outdoors, so it’s going to be difficult to have a sports policy. It will have to be something flexible.”
But he says when it comes to what we know, we need to think about the crowd as well as the players.
“I mean when we have people even in the outdoor situation huddled together in the stands in groups of 20 on a cold night, that’s going to be something where it’s the proximity of people that’s going to be more important in a lot of ways whether you’re indoor or out,” Threlkeld said.
He says outdoor situations are safer as the air can be wafted away. He also says scenarios where students or players gather after the game for social events should be monitored for potential spread.
Threlkeld says social distancing as much as possible during a game will be important.
“And we need to be ready to measure things,” Threlkeld said. “We need to be ready to do some testing, to do some contact tracing and put our heads together and figure out where these little outbreaks are most likely to occur because the more we learn about it, the more we can do something about it.”
Threlkeld also encouraged students 12 and older who are eligible for the vaccine to get the shot.