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Dr. Citronberg on social distancing, COVID-19 effects on sports and athletes

3 years agoStaff Report

Dr. Robert Citronberg, director of the division of infectious disease at advocate lutheran general hospital, joined Len Kasper and Cole Wright on Cubs 360 to discuss social distancing in sports and the chances of players testing positive for COVID-19 during the season.

Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested a “bubble format” for the NFL similar to the NBA. With MLB playing at their home stadiums and restructuring the divisions and the NHL playing in hub cities, Dr. Citronberg agreed with Dr. Fauci’s suggestion. 

“In order to prevent the spread or transmission of this disease, you have to isolate or quarantine as best as possible. Football is especially risky because it’s a contact sport. If one player is infected, and there’s a lot of contact on the field, it’s conceivable that every single player on the field could be infected,” Dr. Citronberg said. “Baseball is probably the least contact sport; however, there’s still contact with sliding, guys standing next to each other. No sport is without risk.”

Dr. Citronberg went on to add that if one player tested positive during the season, it brings up a cause of concern.

“By the time somebody tests positive, it’s quite possible they’ve already exposed their teammates who are in the clubhouse and spread to other teams. Even a single positive test would be concerning, in my view. I don’t know if you have to shut it down based on one positive test, but you really have to have a plan about what’s going to happen if there’s more than one positive test. One leads to three leads to five and before you know it, you have a big outbreak,” Dr. Citronberg said.

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