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Coronavirus: Most epidemiologists won't attend sports game until next summer

Coronavirus: Most epidemiologists won't attend sports game until next summer

If sports return this summer, and fans are allowed in the stands, would you go to enjoy the game?

That’s a question the New York Times asked over 500 epidemiologists for a survey about when they would feel comfortable returning to everyday, innocuous activities from the time before COVID-19.

If you’re excited to catch a game this summer, unfortunately only 3% of the epidemiologists surveyed agree and said they’d feel comfortable going to a sporting event, concert or play this summer. In fact 64% of the epidemiologists said they wouldn’t feel comfortable attending for a year or longer.

To compare, 32% said they’d go to a game or a concert within three months to a year, while 1% said they’d never feel comfortable attending an event like that ever again.

The Times featured some of the epidemiologists' explanations for why they would wait more than a year before going out to a ballgame, concert or play.

“To me, this is a luxury and I can wait a long time until people can safely come together to enjoy it,” Joseph Wagner from the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine told the Times. “That said, I can and will continue to support arts programs as if I was attending with donations.”

“These are some of the highest-risk activities and probably attract more risk-embracing people,” said Vivian Towe from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. “The addition of alcohol or drugs makes these activities too risky for me to consider anytime soon.”

Another pointed to the logistical challenges that large-scale gatherings like sporting events would present for people trying to track the virus.

“This is as much about feelings of social responsibility as about personal infection risk,” said Steve Mooney from the University of Washington. “Large-scale gatherings are a contact tracing nightmare and seem like they should be shut down until we have a really good sense of what's safe/how to screen people.”

Meanwhile, one epidemiologist who was quoted in the piece said she would attend an event this fall, but only if certain conditions were met first.

“I would do this IF social distancing was enforced and everyone attending was required to wear a mask,” said Tammie Nelson from the Marion County Public Health Department.

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Cubs push back workouts for COVID-19 testing delays again, expect improvement

Cubs push back workouts for COVID-19 testing delays again, expect improvement

The Cubs pushed back their workout schedule on Friday because of a delay in receiving their results from Tuesday’s COVID-19 testing. 

It’s the second time this week the club has delayed a workout while waiting for test results. They pushed back Tuesday’s workout to exercise caution while waiting for Sunday’s results, which eventually came Tuesday afternoon.

“We just [pushed] some things back to make sure everybody's in a good place,” Ross said on Friday’s Zoom session. "Just going to have some of these delays from time to time.”

Ross said Tuesday MLB has assured him they are working out their issues and he reiterated that point on Friday, stating he is confident things will iron out.

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“Things have gone much smoother as MLB has gotten things in order on their end and got all the facilities they're using in line and everything kind of moving a little bit smoother," he said. "Things are already moving smoother and I would believe that's gonna continue.”

Ross has preached patience as Major League Baseball irons out some of the early league-wide issues they’ve encountered in receiving coronavirus test results. The Astros and Nationals canceled workouts on Monday because of delays.

The Cubs are believed to be the only National League team with no players/staff testing positive at this juncture.

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Why David Ross is considering carrying three catchers on the Cubs roster

Why David Ross is considering carrying three catchers on the Cubs roster

There very well may be three catchers on the Cubs opening day roster.

Teams are allowed 30 players on opening day – that’s gradually trimmed to 26 over the first four weeks of the season. Cubs manager David Ross sees much of that extra rosters space as flexibility to carry more pitchers as starters work up to throwing five to seven innings. But with the designated hitter in the National League this season, catchers Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini are both candidates for the DH spot.

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“I know everybody wants to stick Schwarb (Kyle Schwarber) in the DH spot,” Ross said Friday, “but we’ll move some things around.”

Schwarber will spend time in that role, but the Cubs also plan to use the DH to get backup catcher Carantini – “I like Vic’s bat,” Ross said -- more regular at-bats.

There will likely be games when both Contreras and Caratini are in the lineup. In those cases, Ross said he likes the idea of having catcher Josh Phegley on the bench as “insurance.”

 

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