Should The Increase In COVID-19 Cases in Florida Worry The NBA?
This is not a great time for COVID-19 numbers Disney friends with a staggering 5,000 NEW cases in Florida yesterday alone. With these numbers, many sports fans are wondering whether the NBA should go ahead with their proposed season at Disney or whether it would be better to cancel plans out of an abundance of caution.
With new cases coming in at nearly 5,000 for the past three days, Yahoo Sports spoke to experts in the field that said the NBA’s plans to move forward with the season are problematic. Zachary Binney, an epidemiologist with Emory University calls the NBA’s plans given the increase in COVID-19 cases “extremely concerning.”
Jared Baeten, an epidemiology professor from the University of Washington said, “Of course they (the NBA) should be concerned about case numbers around where they’re trying to build their bubble.”
Last week, the NBA issued a 113-page “Health and Safety Protocols” document to members to explain how the league will attempt to distance itself from the outside world during the season. It initially had the support of experts so said that creating a bubble was a good thing. However, experts like Baeten are now saying that these measures only really work if in conjunction with good public health measures. “People in communities where a bubble is landing have to be participatory in trying to push down infection numbers said, Baeten.
European Sports Leagues have had success with creating a bubble for their sports teams however it should be noted that in these instances the COVID cases were a lot lower then they are in Florida. Just to put it in perspective, the piece in Yahoo Sports tells us that Florida has reported thousands of more COVID-19 cases this past week than UK, Germany, Italy and Spain combined.
Binney said of the current figures, “That is a very serious outbreak, and it’s going to get worse.” He added, “Even with a bubble plan. I’m deeply, deeply worried.”“I still like the NBA’s plan,” he clarifies. “This is not the NBA’s fault. This is the state of Florida’s fault. The NBA has done nothing wrong, other than putting their eggs in the Orlando basket.”
Everyone in the NBA bubble during the finals needs to come in contact with people from the outside world. As Schaffer says, “The hotel staff, for example. They’re not in the bubble. They’re going to go home to their families, and conduct whatever personal life that they want.” The problem with this is that the more threats there are outside the bubble means more chances for someone that works in the NBA bubble to bring it in.
Another thing to consider is all of the resources the NBA will need to utilize to continue you their season. This includes daily COVID-19 checks for all players as well as technology. However, as the entire state starts to buckle from increased virus numbers and resources are strained this may not be the impression the NBA wants to make and the resources could perhaps be better allocated.
So what’s next? Binney told Yahoo Sports, “If there’s that much disease, and there’s that much of a severe outbreak, and if hospitals start to get overwhelmed, and you don’t have enough testing there, which they don’t … if the situation still looks like this next month, I’m not sure how you could start.”
At the moment the NBA has yet to say anything official regarding their plans to continue the season at Walt Disney World. However, this is a story that we’ll continue to follow here at MickeyBlog and we promise to keep you posted!
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Source: Yahoo Sports