Monday December 4, 2023

Back to Business as Usual?

  • It's still unclear just how normal this fall's football season will look.
  • Experts can’t predict exactly how guidelines should evolve, but they did explain which factors will dictate the answers to these questions.
Photo: Mickey Welsh-Advertiser/Design: Alex Brooks
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This fall, football season will undoubtedly look more normal than last year. But it’s still unclear just how normal.

How packed will stadiums be? Will teams still have to remain isolated, or can they hang out with friends during off-days? 

Experts can’t predict exactly how guidelines should evolve, but they did explain which factors will dictate the answers to these questions.

Important Statistics

Normalcy depends on two numbers: vaccination rates and community transmission. It’s simple — more vaccinations means fewer cases. But Bachynski cautioned: “There’s no magic number.”

“My mantra throughout this entire pandemic is: The lower your community transmission, the more options you have.”

New variants could complicate this picture, experts agreed. There could be outbreaks among communities with lower vaccination rates, which could make people hold onto their masks a bit longer.

Personal Decisions

Some states will relax their regulations by September, and others already have. At that point, it’s up to individuals to go to a packed stadium, or to ditch masks. 

“I think it’s going to depend on the personal risk … based on your status of health, your age, and also the trends going on where you’re at,” Cervantes said.

“But it’s important to keep in mind that COVID is never going to go away.”

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