A leisure ice hockey sport in Florida become a “superspreader” occasion when 14 out of twenty-two gamers developed COVID-19 after the sport, together with gamers on each groups, in keeping with a brand new report.
The report, printed Thursday (Oct. 15) within the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, highlights the actual threat of indoor sporting occasions for spreading COVID-19, the authors mentioned.
The sport, which was held on June 16 at an ice rink in Tampa Bay, Florida, concerned two groups of 11 gamers every, in keeping with the report, from researchers on the Florida Division of Well being. Sometimes, six gamers had been on the ice and 5 on the bench at any given time, the report mentioned. All the gamers had been male, and ranged in age from 19 to 53 years previous. Not one of the gamers wore material masks on the ice or within the locker rooms, though some gamers wore hockey-related face safety comparable to steel cages or plastic half-shields that lined the eyes and the highest a part of the nostril.
The sport lasted 60 minutes, and gamers spent about 20 minutes within the locker room earlier than and after the sport, with every workforce having a separate locker room.
The day after the sport (June 17), one of many gamers developed a fever, cough, sore throat and headache, and examined constructive for COVID-19. Within the following 4 days (from June 18 to June 21), an extra 13 gamers developed signs of COVID-19 — eight gamers had been on the identical workforce because the preliminary case, and 5 gamers had been on the opposing workforce. A workers member on the rink additionally developed symptoms of COVID-19 within the days following the sport.
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Of the 15 total circumstances (together with the preliminary case and the rink workers member), 11 had been confirmed to have COVID-19 by way of a constructive take a look at, and two weren’t examined, the report mentioned. Asymptomatic gamers weren’t examined, so there might have been extra asymptomatic cases.
The gamers did not produce other widespread exposures within the week main as much as the sport, and the researchers hypothesize that one participant unfold COVID-19 to the opposite gamers in the course of the sport whereas he was presymptomatic.
The brand new report is without doubt one of the first to doc COVID-19 unfold at a sporting occasion or observe, though there have been quite a lot of anecdotal experiences.
“The ice rink offers a venue that’s seemingly properly suited to COVID-19 transmission as an indoor surroundings the place deep respiration happens, and individuals are in shut proximity to at least one one other,” the report mentioned.
The chilly temperatures of the ice rink may assist the virus unfold, as has been prompt by outbreaks in meat processing crops. Chilly temperatures permit the virus to outlive for longer exterior the physique, together with within the air, according to Wired. And one research discovered that the novel coronavirus particles might journey greater than 26 ft (8 meters) within the chilly, stale air of a slaughterhouse, according to Bloomberg.
The ice-rink surroundings creates the potential for a “superspreader occasion, particularly with ongoing neighborhood COVID-19 transmission,” they concluded.
Initially printed on Reside Science.