“Because the vaccines proceed to roll out, hopefully the positivity charge might be happening within the coming months,” Mara informed reporters final week.
In an announcement, Miller of the N.F.L. mentioned the league would, because it did final yr, observe the suggestions of native, county, state and federal public well being officers, together with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, and “proceed to uphold with the recommendation and partnership of medical and public well being specialists as we glance to the 2021 season.”
Making an attempt to ascertain definitive causal hyperlinks between a single occasion and a change in an infection charges throughout a big metropolitan space is difficult. The authors of the examine submitted to The Lancet concede that their analysis solely reveals that two occasions — video games with followers and growing optimistic Covid-19 charges — coincided. Different occasions like political rallies, the reopening of faculties or vacation journey might have contributed to a rise in infections, particularly in states the place preventive measures just like the carrying of masks have been much less extensively adopted. Infections might have additionally elevated as a result of followers watched video games with their buddies in residing rooms or at bars, gatherings that have been past the N.F.L.’s management.
“The energy of those research is they’re displaying one thing, however the correlations can solely level out the chances, not the causation,” mentioned Bruce Y. Lee, the chief director of Public Well being Informatics Computational and Operations Analysis at Metropolis College of New York College of Public Well being. “It’s not only a soccer sport and folks go residence. There are all these related actions across the sport.”
To ascertain that N.F.L. video games brought on the unfold of the virus, researchers would want contact tracing information on followers who attended video games after which examined optimistic. That data is scarce, although, since many native well being departments used their assets to coach the general public on preventive measures and enhance coronavirus testing. In Duval County, Fla., well being officers mentioned they didn’t examine whether or not followers who attended Jacksonville Jaguars video games have been contaminated or whether or not the crew’s residence video games elevated the unfold of the virus.
Partly as a result of not everybody cooperated with contact tracers’ requests, even individuals who attended N.F.L. video games and examined optimistic had problem figuring out whether or not they received contaminated earlier than, throughout or after the video games.
Eight residents who examined optimistic for the virus informed contact tracers that that they had lately attended Cowboys residence video games, well being officers in Tarrant County, Texas, mentioned in November.