Sunday, April 14, 2024

NFL stadium openings in 2020 had no impact on local COVID-19 infections, MIT study indicates

As with most everything in the world, football looked very different in 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, many National Football League (NFL) games were played in empty stadiums, while other stadiums opened to fans at significantly reduced capacity, with strict safety protocols in place.

At the time it was unclear what impact such large sporting events would have on COVID-19 case counts, particularly at a time when vaccination against the virus was not widely available.

Now, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineers have taken a look back at the NFL’s 2020 regular season and found that for this specific period during the pandemic, opening stadiums to fans while requiring face coverings, social distancing, and other measures had no impact on the number of COVID-19 infections in those stadiums’ local counties, writes Jennifer Chu of MIT.

As the MIT team writes in a new paper appearing this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “the benefits of providing a tightly controlled outdoor spectating environment – including masking and distancing requirements – counterbalanced the risks associated with opening.”

The study concentrates on the NFL’s 2020 regular season (September 2020 to early January 2021), at a time when earlier strains of the virus dominated, before the rise of more transmissible Delta and Omicron variants. Nevertheless, the results may inform decisions on whether and how to hold large outdoor gatherings in the face of future public health crises.

“These results show that the measures adopted by the NFL were effective in safely opening stadiums,” says study author Anette “Peko” Hosoi, the Neil and Jane Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT.

 

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-03-masking-distancing-nfl-stadium-impact.html

BIG Media
BIG Media
Our focus is on facts, accurate data, and logical interpretation. Our only agenda is the truth.
spot_img

BIG Wrap

Israel and U.S. shoot down missiles and drones launched from Iran

(BBC News) Iran has launched dozens of drones and missiles at Israel in a retaliatory attack. Sirens and loud explosions have been heard as Israel's air...

HELP sign leads to rescue of three men from island

(BBC News) Three men were rescued by the US Coast Guard off an island in Micronesia after they sent out a plea for "HELP"...