Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

What Is My Risk Of COVID Infection Playing Sports?

January 27, 2022

According to the NY Times, COVID 19 has infected over 70 million and caused over 800K deaths in our country since the pandemic’s onset. The more recent variants of this virus have become less severe but more contagious. Many social distancing and societal restrictions remain in place in an effort to reduce the transmission of this virus from one individual to another. Although we are unable to eliminate the risk of infection with most activities we are now able to better understand the risk based on the scientific data and evidence. A recent article was published on the transmission risk between soccer players.

The British Journal of Sports Medicine published their study on the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 the virus which can cause COVID 19 (Schreiber et al. 2022). Authors followed amateur to professional soccer players who tested positive for this virus in practice or competitions between 2020 and 2021. Information was collected through a national registry of players as well as media searches. They defined potentially infectious players based on the time of a positive PCR test and the relative onset of the individual’s symptoms. Authors reported on 165 infected players over 1247 practices and competitions. Further analysis of soccer games found < 1 front contact, lasting < 3 seconds, between players per player hour. Authors concluded the on field risk of transmission was very low and sources of injection among players were likely not related to soccer practices or games, but rather from off the field activities.