UW doctor says outdoor sports are safe for participants, still need precautions

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COVID-19 spreads through outdoor events, but like fall sports are about to returnfortunately, the virus has not spread much among people who participate in outdoor sports.

When it has spread among outdoor sports participants, it is often the pre- and post-game activities to blame.

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“Outdoor sports have proven to be really safe,” UW Medicine’s said Dr Jonathan Drezner. “They can be on the ground, they can compete, and that doesn’t necessarily increase the transmission of the virus.”

But Drezner who says that preparing for the game – carpools, locker room meetings – as well as after parties or celebrations has spread COVID-19.

“Carpool, bus ride, what you do in the locker room, et cetera, I think you need to be a little more careful,” he noted.

He says athletes should all wear masks indoors and spectators should almost always wear masks.

“If you’re crowded in the stands watching a game, I think everyone should be masked. It’s just the safest thing to do, ”he said.

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As for coaches, Drezner says they have a responsibility to student-athletes or young athletes to adhere to prevention strategies.

“We are still in the midst of a pandemic – the delta virus is really widespread right now and coaches have a responsibility,” he said. “So, yes, I understand that you have to prepare your team. I understand you want to win, you want to make sure your athletes are having fun and enjoying it. But you have to be a role model for them, and you have to make sure that they adhere to all of these prevention strategies.

Dr Drezner works at the UW Medicine Center for Sports Cardiology and recognizes the overall benefits of youth sports that can return for the entire fall season. He emphasizes that sport has a positive impact on the general well-being and mental health of our children.

“We have opportunities this year that we didn’t have last year in terms of fall sports, and I think those are here to stay,” he said. “We have to continue to find a way to keep the sport going, regardless of what the pandemic does. “

KIRO Radio’s Newsdesk contributed to this report.



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