A NEW study suggests taking part in high school sports is not linked to an increased risk of COVID-19.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health tracked coronavirus cases at 207 schools that had restarted athletics.
More than 30,000 student-athletes were tracked in September and October. They took part in 16,000 practices and 4,000 competitive events.
Results showed players had a lower rate of infection than teenagers overall. The study also found none of the sports studied had a higher rate of transmission than the overall teenage population.
The most common source of infection for players was in their own home where 55% of all infections occurred. 40.7% of cases resulted from community contact not associated with school or school activities.
The dean of the medical school, Dr. Robert N. Golden, says he doesn’t think the results of the study are accurate. In a statement he said: “Dr. Watson is entitled to express his views regarding the safety of high school sports during the COVID-19 epidemic in Wisconsin.
However, his views do not represent the opinions of UW–Madison, UW School of Medicine and Public Health, or UW Health.
The study released by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association involves a survey that collected data on student athlete COVID-19 cases as reported by high school athletic departments.
The study design has limitations, and the work has not undergone peer review or acceptance for publication in a scientific journal.
High schools across the country are working to make the best decisions they can regarding the health and safety of their athletes, and we do not believe this report should play a major role in shaping their decisions.”