Testing needed for a sports return, but more complicated than that

Sports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As some sports leagues begin to start opening up training facilities, it provides hope that games aren’t too far behind.

Testing, testing, testing.

Testing seems to be the key to bringing sports back in a safe way. Dr. Rand McClain who works with regenerative and sports medicine says there’s a lot more that goes into it.

For starters, the stigma that testing is hard to come by, isn’t necessarily the case according to McClain.

“The lack of available testing, that’s on the 500,000 people a day level,” he said. “What we’re talking about here, depending on how you do the math, is a group of 5,000 maybe 10,000 – by extension maybe hotel employees that are associated with players, etc. That we could do yesterday.”

Then, the issue becomes cost.

“It’s going to cost probably $250 per individual, per test to do what we call both the molecular and serological testing, but it can be done.”

But, how often can it be done? Do players need to be tested regularly? If so, what does that look like? Once a week? Twice a week? Once a month?

“It’s a good question and it’s going to be determined by how strictly you can enforce the isolation. If you can truly isolate or come close to it, then the need for testing won’t be as great once you initially test everyone because you can say, “oh we have this closed environment, we don’t need to test you every day.”‘

A closed environment is easier said than done.

“That’s going to be hard especially if there’s travel involved. Are we going to go from ice rink to ice rink? It’s going to be hard to keep people from being exposed and you’re going to need even more frequent testing.”

The more secluded the environment, the fewer testing needed. It sounds simple, but creating a perfectly closed space away from society is incredibly difficult and somewhat unrealistic if you factor in travel, shared spaces and being around family members.

McClain also said it’s easier for an outdoor sport like baseball to begin play sooner than an indoor sport like hockey. Major League Baseball has also been toying with the idea of playing in a “bio-dome” by only playing in one location.

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