The NFL season is almost in the books and it serves as an interesting case study for the rest of the US.
Despite a global pandemic, one of the nation’s top sports leagues got all 256 regular-season games played within 17 weeks in 2020.
And one of the first key lessons that helped the NFL drive forward? Officials learned playing football itself did not spread COVID-19.
Despite the close physical contact during a football game, genomic epidemiology data analyzed by the NFL indicate there was no on-field transmission of the virus during the league’s games, Christina Mack, M.D., an IQVIA epidemiologist and adviser to the NFL, said during the press call.
“If you look at the data, one thing that shines through is that context matters. Football is played in a well-ventilated area, with a lot of airflow, and with brief interactions on the field,” she said.
So What? This data supports what epidemiologists are saying and it resonates with a segment of the public. It can be used to address a problem we will have in a couple months when we are at 50% vaccinated, plenty of vaccine, and no one standing in line.