How new CDC COVID guidelines impact the sports world


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The CDC COVID guidelines are changing with the recommended isolation period reduced from 10 days to five. How will that impact the sports world?

The sports world has been unsettled over the past few weeks with a surge in COVID cases prompting postponements and cancelations.

The NFL has had to push back games. NBA, NHL and college basketball teams have had to shut down. Bowl games in college football have been canceled and rearranged.

However, on Monday the CDC dropped some new guidelines for isolating after a positive COVID test. What does it all mean?

How will new CDC COVID guidelines impact the sports world?

The change to CDC recommendations could have a major impact on sports leagues around the country.

The NFL and NBA have already changed their policies in a bid to try to get players back more quickly from a positive test. Most of those policies have centered around unvaccinated players and staff, who can test out of the COVID list.

With the five-day isolation period, even unvaccinated players could be cleared much more quickly in theory.

For a football team, that might mean having a player who tested positive on Monday make it back in time for a game on Sunday.

However, it’s important to note the specific isolation recommendations.

Here’s what the CDC says:

  • The clock starts the day you test positive.
  • An infected person should go into isolation for five days, instead of the previously recommended 10.
  • At the end of five days, if you have no symptoms, you can return to normal activities but must wear a mask everywhere — even at home around others — for at least five more days.
  • If you still have symptoms after isolating for five days, stay home until you feel better and then start your five days of wearing a mask at all times.

It’s not clear how masks could be incorporated for players through the second half of that recommendation though.

That’ll be up to the NFL, NBA and other leagues to decide but with the CDC acknowledging that people are most infectious two days before and three days after symptoms develop, the five-day guidance should result in some loosening of policies.

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