Is it safe to go to sporting events?

Is it safe to go to sporting events?

There’s been no joy in Mudville for sports fans during COVID-19.

In 2020, games were postponed, seasons were cancelled, and mega-events like the Olympics and college basketball’s March Madness were scratched out.

But since the first surge, the games have resumed, all the way from preps to the pros. Around the globe, some countries and cities have allowed a portion of the fans to return to the seats, while others have not.

In the U.S., college and professional sports leagues have worked with local governments to set the guidelines for how fans can safely return to the stands. Many Major League Baseball teams will have 10-25% attendance to start the season. However, the Texas Rangers are allowing full capacity, meaning more than 40,000 fans will be welcomed into their ballpark.

With millions of Americans getting vaccinated every day and sports fans eager to get back to the games, you may be wondering, “Is it safe to attend sporting events?”

“As more people get vaccinated and we learn how vaccinated people may or may not transmit COVID-19, the safest place to watch a game is still on TV at home,” said Dr. Minhaj Husain, infectious disease expert at Aurora Health Care. “However, if you wear a mask, socially distance and follow the stadium’s COVID-19 safety guidelines, it is possible to attend sporting events in a safer manner that lowers the risk of transmission.”

Like any good team, follow a game plan before you go to the stadium:

Pregame:

  • Stay home if you have COVID-19 or symptoms, are waiting for COVID-19 test results, or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19
  • Monitor COVID-19 cases in your area. The higher the transmission of COVID-19 in the community, the higher the risk of transmission of COVID-19 at sporting events.
  • Check with the venue to see what COVID-19 safety protocols are in place
  • Outdoor events are better than indoor events
  • Do not travel outside your local area for a game

At the game:

  • Wear a mask
  • Stay six feet away from other fans
  • Wash your hands
  • Do not share food and drink with others

Postgame:

  • If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, or if you test positive for COVID-19, quarantine and follow the steps to keep others safe
  • Contact the designated contact at the sporting event or your local health department.

For more information, check out Advocate Aurora’s COVID-19 Info Center here.

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About the Author

Matt Queen
Matt Queen

Matt Queen, health enews contributor, is a communication coordinator at Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee. He is a former TV sports anchor and journalist with extensive public relations experience across the health care spectrum. Outside of work, Matt enjoys watching sports (of course), cooking, gardening, golfing and spending time with his wife and two young children.