Leadership / 10.21.20
Specter of Coronavirus Looms as Big Ten Prepares to Begin Football Season
Buckeye Xtra (10/18/20) Kaufman, Joey
As the Big Ten opens its season with seven games scheduled, the COVID-19 pandemic is a source of uncertainty. "You have to prepare that the season will be disjointed and characterized by games being postponed and canceled," explained Amesh Adalja at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. With the U.S. reporting between 40,000 and 50,000 new coronavirus cases daily as of a few weeks ago, college football teams are not shielded by bubbles like some professional sports leagues. This suggests likely wider community transmission of the virus nationwide, especially in the Big Ten. Teams must limit cases if they want to play in the coming weeks, and should their positivity rate top 5%, they are obligated to suspend practice and competition for at least seven days. The Ohio State Buckeyes and all other conference teams are screening their players, coaches, and staff members every day. The Big Ten is providing rapid antigen tests through a partnership with Quidel Corp., and the Buckeyes are testing about 170 people daily within their program. Another transmission vector for teams is traveling, and Buckeye team physician Jim Borchers said the team will likely dine and hold meetings in smaller groups while on the road, in addition to other preventive measures.
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Tags: Sports , News , COVID-19 , Coronavirus