A look at testing, or not, when athletes return

As is the case with so much about COVID-19, nobody knows for sure, but there is significant concern about asymptomatic athletes infecting their teammates, or their coaches. They make the comparison to the Navy aircraft carrier where 150 sailors were infected and one died – lots of young people in close quarters.

They note bulk saliva testing may be helpful – have 20 guys spit into a container, test the whole thing at once, and if it’s negative, all 20 guys are cleared. If it comes back positive, though, all 20 guys will need to have their nose swabbed. To further complicate things, the saliva test is only about 80% accurate.

The possible effects of the virus on the heart also need to be considered. Undetected myocarditis was already a risk factor for young athletes, and the virus is likely to increase the incidence of that.

UA deputy AD Derita Ratcliffe is quoted in this story, and they note we don’t plan to test athletes when they arrive next week.

I feel there are many unanswered questions, but, I had rather teams check as well as possible instead of observing what happens with nothing done. There is no magic answer.

I would agree and most of the medical people quoted in this article also agree. I did notice the Pac-12 is requiring its schools to test everyone when they return.