PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With winter sports about to start, what happens as the kids move inside?
“It’ll be a little bit different in the winter sports, a little bit more challenging,” says Dr. Ed Snell of Allegheny Health Network Sports Medicine. “Spread doesn’t come from it being cold. Spread comes from people huddling in small places where droplets are spread person to person.”
Some sports are more concerning than others.
“There’s a big question about wresting. You’re breathing on each other,” Dr. Snell said. “But the good thing about wrestling is it’s a one-on-one sport. You have one person exposed to one person and then you isolate.”
Dr. Snell says athletes are tested only if they have symptoms. The CDC is calling attention to a sports-related outbreak indoors that started with someone who showed symptoms the day after the game.
At a recreational hockey game in Tampa Bay, Florida, 14 of the 22 players — ages 19 to 53 — became ill and tested positive. The others may have been infected but did not develop symptoms and did not get tested.
Hockey players breathe heavily on the ice and on the bench close to others. For face protection, they may use metal cages, face shields or nothing at all. They did not use masks in this instance during the game or in the locker room.
“When you’re on the bench, make sure you’re six feet apart from everybody else,” Dr. Snell said. “If you have a big venue and it has nice laminar flow or nice aeration of the area, I think you’re going to be better off.”
Dr. Snell’s advice for indoor activities?
“Wear your mask, try to socially distance even when you’re playing. Wash your clothes as soon as you’re done with your play,” he said. “If you get exposed, make sure you make people aware you’ve been exposed.”
Other indoor outbreaks have occurred in restaurants, meat processing plants, high-intensity fitness dance classes and at a squash facility.