Friday, September 30, 2022

Return to play: Tips to prevent COVID-19 transmission in sports and entertainment facilities

Since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown last year, the sports and entertainment industry has been one of the hardest hit. And as we move toward a slow reopening, forms of concern (such as the delta version) threaten the safe recovery of the industry. Despite vaccination efforts, some say herd immunity is unlikely, and we may have to learn to live with the virus.

In Canada, the lockdown has had a negative impact on physical activity levels, sedentary behavior and mental health. And unhealthy lifestyle trends are associated with serious complications from COVID-19 and hospital admissions.



Read more: A year into the pandemic, the COVID-19 exercise slowdown hits women hard


Sports and recreation facilities help support a healthy lifestyle. During pandemics, however, they have been difficult to operate safely due to increased respiratory activity and the potential for airborne transmission of the virus. As a result, many have been forced to shut down or operate under strict guidelines.

Learning to live with the virus should include considering how to support health and wellness. And strategies need to be developed to reduce the risk of transmission in sports and entertainment facilities.

Many gyms and fitness centers had to be closed during COVID-19.
(shutterstock)

reducing the spread of COVID-19

We looked at peer-reviewed articles to identify recommendations for those who design, manage and work in sports and recreation facilities to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission – our article is a preprint and current I have yet to be peer reviewed. We classified the recommendations according to National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) guidelines for addressing occupational hazards, in this case COVID-19.

According to the guidelines, eliminating or replacing hazards from the workplace, implementing engineering controls, adjusting the way people work through administrative controls, and using personal protective equipment as the last line of defense Security is provided.

Our analysis resulted in recommendations that will help the sports and entertainment industry reduce the spread of COVID-19. Here is a summary of the recommendations.

Threat Elimination/Replacement: Compulsory Vaccination Policy

The Compulsory Vaccination or Vaccination Passport Policy is the safest option.

Given the close proximity people often have in sports and entertainment facilities, this policy should be considered as important as sporting equipment that keeps people safe.

Engineering Control: Transforming the Built Environment

Architects, engineers and facility directors must consider transforming the built environment. These facilities often have complex rooms of varying sizes that require better ventilation and air handling systems.

Rooms and corridors will need to be redesigned so that they allow physical distancing, and the number of high-touch surfaces within facilities will need to be reduced through automation. To improve user hygiene, hand washing stations should be installed throughout, allowing users to use them before, after, and during an activity.

Administrative Controls: Standard Operating Procedures

Facility operators must develop and integrate COVID-19 management plans into their standard operating procedures, and will be required to conduct daily health checks for anyone entering the facility.

Rooms, surfaces and equipment will need to be cleaned more frequently, and communication plans will need to be developed that educate and encourage safe user behavior. Food and beverage services operations will have to change, and items must be individually wrapped in disposable containers. Clinical trash cans will need to be available for potentially contaminated materials such as used masks, and facilities will need to coordinate distribution schedules with their suppliers to minimize contact with facility staff.

A man wears a mask and holds a basketball inside an entertainment facility, he is on a basketball court and people are playing in the background
An athletic trainer wears a face mask during a basketball game in Molfetta, Italy.
(shutterstock)

Administrative Controls: Facility Capacity and Vacancy

General facility capacity would need to be reduced to allow physical distance, and traveling in a facility would need to be reconsidered to reduce travel distances and contacts.

Due to the humid environment and airborne particles in sports and recreation facilities, lockers should be primarily used as storage and should be placed where physical distancing can be maintained. Spectator areas will need to consider enforcing physical distancing and setting up partitions between seats.

Administrative Controls: Activities and Tools

Return on activity guidelines should be created for each activity and location in conjunction with public health advisories. The staggered feature will help reduce unnecessary use of scheduling features and personal contacts, and aid in cleanup. There will be a need to build housing for populations that are more vulnerable to COVID-19. Sharing personal items like water bottles or towels should not be allowed.

Administrative Controls: Staffing Requirements

The staffing requirements of the facilities and the organizations working within them will need to change. A COVID-19 supervisor should be appointed to conduct routine health and safety assessments, and all staff will need to be trained on the new COVID-19 standard operating procedures.

Employees who can complete their tasks at home should be encouraged to do so to reduce the number of occupants within a facility at any one time. Facilities should work with community sports organizations and their personnel (such as coaches) to develop return to activity guidelines.

Personal Protective Equipment: The Last Line of Defense

Additional personal protective equipment must be available, and all occupants must be required to wear a mask when not engaging in physical activity. Facility staff, trainers, trainers and other personnel should be provided with additional personal protective equipment appropriate for their role.



Read more: Sports business resumes amid COVID-19, but at what cost?


As we return to some degree of normalcy from the height of the pandemic, the sports and entertainment industry will be essential to supporting our health and well-being. It is therefore important that we evaluate the environments of sports and entertainment facilities and implement measures that reduce the risk of transmission so that we can all enjoy them again.

This article is republished from – The Conversation – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
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