Key to sports coming back? Testing

“What degree of risk are you willing to assume?"

Key to sports coming back? Testing
Sports on hold (Source: graphics)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - It is early in May and America has yet to sing “Take Me Out To the Ballgame." What will it take to reach that seventh inning stretch? Or the NBA playoffs? Or football in the fall? “Testing,” said Dr. Rand McClain, Chief Medical Officer for LCR Health. A lot of it. “The crux of this is regular testing. Meaning, before they even show up, daily testing for both the virus itself and antibodies for the virus.”

McClain, based in Los Angeles, works with athletes now. He knows guys are anxious to get back to work as long as it can be done safely. “What degree of risk are you willing to assume? Because we are not going to eliminate it 100%," said McClain. He does feel it can be done well however. Say a basketball player’s daily test comes back positive. “Get them off the court immediately and isolate them even further than they are already being isolated. Then you go back and find out who they have been in contact with and you want to test those players and personnel as well.”

McClain pointed out that pro athletes are as well positioned to confront the virus as anybody. “This is not the population that is most at risk. These guys are in top shape, no one is 68 and over, no one has uncontrolled hypertension or diabetes or COPD. These are the guys that are least at risk.”

Different sports face different challenges. Baseball is best positioned to do well at this because of the nature of the game, despite small clusters of people like the trio of batter, catcher and umpire at home plate, the players are mostly spread out. Football and basketball are different. “The NFL is in good stead right now because they are a ways off," said McClain. "I think the NBA is going to be scrutinized a lot more. We are going to see some head to head action, that is the problem, there is a much greater chance of transmitting the virus through the contact sports. This will be a good test.”

Sports fans everywhere are hoping this will be a test that the NBA, NHL, NFL, NCAA and Major League Baseball will pass with flying colors.

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