With COVID-19 cases rising, how safe are stadiums for the fans?

Since the start of this year, the number of COVID-19 cases has increased. The cases have involved fans suffering from red-rimmed eyes, blistering skin rashes, bloody noses, and other allergic reactions. The causes have been traced to perfluoroalkyl substances (PFSs), which are so-called safe alternatives to the chemicals used in making plastic materials.

In the past year, the number of people diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has skyrocketed in Japan. In 2007, a total of 8,929 people were diagnosed with COPD, a 66 percent increase from the 5,936 in 2006. Most of these cases were in men in their forties, but in recent years the number of women with COPD has also increased. Why the sudden surge in COPD? In Japan, smoking is still a big habit, and is linked to a variety of health problems including COPD.

There are many dangers lurking when you are in a stadium, but when you are in a suicide bomb-filled stadium, there are far more dangers than you can imagine. And when you are in a stadium, you are one of many  people attending the same event. With so many people in one place, it is hard to know what to do if something bad is going to happen. So how safe is a stadium when there are so many people there?. Read more about do you have to be vaccinated to go to sporting events and let us know what you think.

The college football season has begun, the NFL season will begin on September 9, and the baseball pennant battles are heating up. Nearly all stadiums will be completely available to spectators for the first time since 2019.

Sitting shoulder to shoulder inside a stadium with tens of thousands of raucous people after a few hours of prior tailgating was a highlight of many fans’ fall in the so-called Before Times. However, with COVID-19 instances, hospitalizations, and fatalities on the rise due to the delta version, many fans are questioning if this is a smart decision.

To obtain their perspectives, Kaiser Health News (KHN) spoke with seven health professionals.

1. Is it safe to attend a crowded sporting event even if you have been vaccinated?

Six of the seven public health experts KHN talked with from major football states said no way. Not right now.

Jason Salemi, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of South Florida in Tampa, stated, “I am a die-hard sports enthusiast.” “However, I would not attend these activities at this time.”

With COVID cases at their highest level since late January — the 7-day average case count rose to just over 149,000 as of Aug. 30 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — and hospitals across the country filling up, Salemi believes there is too much risk, even for those who have been fully vaccinated against the virus.

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While air circulation is better during outdoor events, sitting within a few feet of 10 or 20 shouting people watching football, baseball, soccer, or an auto racing in a stadium lowers the safety margin, he added.

Vaccines reduce your chances of being hospitalized or dying from COVID, but the more transmissible delta variant’s dominance is leading to an increase in breakthrough infections, some of which produce unpleasant symptoms. Illness also raises the risk of infection spreading to unvaccinated individuals, who may get severely sick.

Even vaccinated fans, particularly the elderly and weak, as well as those with chronic medical problems, should be aware that they are at a greater risk of infection. The CDC does not have specific recommendations for sporting events, but it does suggest that anyone attending large gatherings in areas where COVID-19 cases are common “consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact” with others who are not fully vaccinated.

“A full football stadium today is not a good idea,” said Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo, a professor of medicine and public health sciences at the University of Miami’s medical school, “because it implies they’re spraying the virus.”

Football stadiums, which are usually among the country’s biggest sports arenas, are frequently crowded with supporters cheering and high-fiving, making it practically difficult to keep a safe distance from unvaccinated individuals. In busy concourses and bathrooms, staying apart from the unvaccinated is also challenging.

While the risk of dying or ending up in intensive care from COVID after vaccination is “vanishingly small,” Dr. Robert Siegel, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University, said he would prefer to avoid even a milder case so he doesn’t have to worry about the disease’s long-term consequences. “It’s not worth it to me,” he added, “but if football is your life, it’s a different calculation.”

2. What can I do to lower my game-day risk?

Getting properly immunized is the first line of protection.

All seven specialists strongly advised against attending the game if you haven’t been vaccinated.

Many athletes on teams get vaccinated to minimize their risk and remain in the game, and some schools, like as LSU, require spectators to be vaccinated or produce a negative COVID test in order to attend a game. However, many stadiums will not impose such a limit on spectators.

Except while eating or drinking, wear a mask.

Both the NFL and collegiate teams have different mask requirements depending on the location. Even if the others around you aren’t wearing masks, yours will provide some protection from breathing the virus. Dr. Nasia Safdar, an infectious disease expert at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, stated, “It’s ideal if all parties wear a mask, but wearing a mask is better than not wearing a mask.”

Dr. Dale Bratzler, the chief COVID officer at the University of Oklahoma, said he would not advise vaccinated individuals to avoid attending football games. Fans should, however, contemplate double masking, according to him. He has no intention of attending any of the OU football games this season, but it has nothing to do with COVID. “It’s due to the heavy traffic entering and exiting the stadium. I’m quite content to watch TV at home.”

Consider doing a COVID test at home the day of the game if you wish to safeguard others. Do not attend a game if the test results are positive or if you have any symptoms, like a runny nose, slight headache, or cough, according to Safdar.

Experts also advised paying attention to the number of COVID instances in each place to which you want to go. It’s possible that the incidence is high, so keep that in mind while deciding whether or not to attend a game.

Icon Sportswire/Austin McAfee

3. How about spending hours before the game tailgating with friends?

Most experts agreed that tailgating with a few pals outside is a safer way to enjoy a football game. But only if you’re certain that the individuals you’re eating and drinking with have been vaccinated.

“It’s also that party environment,” Safdar said, “where individuals aren’t in a position to wear a mask and you’re standing near to people.” “There’s still a chance.”

4. Throughout the summer, millions of people have attended baseball games, soccer matches, and other sporting activities, with few outbreaks. Why should you be concerned about football games now?

There have been just a few instances of breakouts at big league baseball stadiums, which may hold up to 40,000 people. However, since the more highly transmissible delta form has only been prevalent since July, this may be changing as well. Furthermore, since the incubation period may extend a week or longer, scientists say it’s impossible to monitor how many fans get ill. People may not associate their sickness with the game, particularly if they believe outdoor activities are risk-free.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, stated, “Delta altered the whole equation of how we looked at the risk.” “I believe there will be broadcasting at stadiums,” says the author.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August in South Dakota has been connected to more than 100 illnesses, according to health authorities.

5. Can I still socialize with my vaccinated friends and family members?

Despite the outbreak of the delta variety, health authorities advise that individuals who have been completely inoculated may safely meet without masks with others who have been fully immunized.

“You can safely come together for dinner and other activities if you know with confidence that someone is vaccinated,” said Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, an infectious disease expert at Ohio Health, a big, multihospital system headquartered in Columbus.

Experts believe that during events like an outdoor wedding, the danger of spread may be reduced if organizers add criteria for vaccines, masks, and physical separation for susceptible guests.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a nationwide news organization that focuses on health problems. KHN is one of KFF’s three main operational programs, alongside Policy Analysis and Polling (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is a philanthropic organization that disseminates health-related information throughout the country.

Football is the world’s most popular sport. The 2016 World Cup was watched by 6.5 billion viewers, rank it among the top ten most watched sporting events in history. But this year, it could be different. Because of the ongoing game-related violence in Brazil, the U.S. has asked the Brazilian government to send their World Cup security forces to patrol stadiums in the US. Other countries are also concerned about the safety of their fans.. Read more about sporting events covid vaccine and let us know what you think.

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