July 16, 2020
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Rising coronavirus numbers in Florida are putting at risk the NBA

Should the surge in coronavirus in Florida bother the NBA? “Absolutely,” experts say.

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florida Over the past weekend, 11,365 new cases of coronavirus were reported – these are the three worst days in the history of observations. Orange County, home of Walt Disney World, reported on Saturday 437 – more than all country once considered the epicenter of a pandemic. A positive test result exceeded 15 percent. Seven-day averages rose.

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And all this for NBA tries to end its season at Disney OrlandoThis is problematic, experts say.

“Extremely disturbing,” says Zachary Binney, an epidemiologist at Emory University.

“Absolutely,” says Bill Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University.

“Of course, they need to worry about the number of cases around where they are trying to create their bubble,” says Jared Beiten, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington.

“Yes,” says Kathleen Bachinski, a professor of public health at Mühlenberg College. “And this is because a real bubble is really very difficult to create.”

An increase in the number of coronaviruses in Florida is jeopardizing the planned return of the NBA. (Photo by Joe Robbins / Getty Images)
An increase in the number of coronaviruses in Florida is jeopardizing the planned return of the NBA. (Photo by Joe Robbins / Getty Images)

Bubble comes with risks

NBA last week spread 113-page Health and Safety ProtocolsThis explains how the league, in fact, will an attempt to hide from the outside worldThis is one of the most wonderful, elaborate plans ever created by the NBA. And public health experts like it. In general, Bethen says, creating bubbles is “a smart task.”

But he clarifies: “This should go hand in hand with good public health measures in the communities surrounding it. … People in the communities where the bubble lands should participate in efforts to reduce infections. ”

That’s why Adam Silver is reportedly concerned – and why experts say that it should be. European sports leagues have been successful with versions of the bubble concept. Florida, however, has reported thousands of cases of COVID-19 over the weekend than in the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain combined.

“This is a very serious outbreak, and it will get worse,” says Binny. “It is coming very fast scram reactor territory for me. Even with a bubble plan. I am deeply, deeply concerned.

“I still like the NBA plan,” he explains. “This is not the NBA’s fault. This is the fault of Florida. The NBA has done nothing wrong with putting its eggs in Orlando’s basket. ”

The bubble, says Bethen, is not completely impenetrable. Thus, its strength, experts say, depends on the environment.

“Everybody knows the bubble must interact with the outside world“Schaffner says. “Hotel staff, for example. They are not in a bubble. They are going to go home to their families and lead any personal life they wish. ”

More viral threats outside the bladder mean more chances for a Disney staff member or a non-NBA employee to attract him. The chain of events that leads to infection of the NBA player remains both preventable and extremely unlikely. But there will be thousands of possibilities. “In order to enter COVID-19, it would take only a few injections of this bubble or the emergence of this bubble,” says Bachinsky.

Can NBA restart the computer?

Experts also have wider concerns. The NBA will conduct tens of thousands of tests while at Disney. He will spend large sums on advanced technologies. “If numbers are growing in the local community, would it also be important to think about where we are putting all these resources?” Bachinsky asks. “And is that really right?”

Binny says: “If there are so many diseases, so many outbreaks, and if the hospitals start to overload, and you don’t have enough tests there, what they don’t have … if the situation still looks like next month, I’m not sure how you could start.

If the bubble was built in a region without a virus, guests traveling from afar would be the only concern. But in Florida?

“It seems almost impossible to imagine that the virus will not get inside the bladder, given the increasing number of cases,” says Beiten. “It seems inevitable right now.”

Binny says, “I’m really worried. And I am especially sad for the NBA, because they did more or less all that they could. And that may not work. ”

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