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LOW RISK: New Covid study on sports equipment


A new study on the transmission of Covid has shown that sharing sports equipment is not as risky as first thought.

The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine tested the potential transmission between ten different types of sports equipment.

They inoculated the equipment with "droplets containing clinically relevant high and low concentrations of live SARS-CoV-2 virus".

They then tested them at relevant time periods for each sport.

During the testing, they found that the retrievable virus dropped significantly for all materials tested with a transmission rate of less than 1% after one minute.

That number fell lower as the time period was extended.

It's good news for the hopeful return of amateur sports post-lockdown.

Dr. Thomas Edwards outlined the reason for the research and what he hoped it would bring.


Less than one percent Covid transmission


"Through the pandemic, there's been a lot of concern that amateur sports may be dangerous for people to attend," he told Local TV.

"We wanted to mimic the process of a player with Covid-19 spitting or coughing onto a piece of equipment, and another player coming along and becoming infected.

"The key finding was the amount [of the virus] that we deposited on the balls, we were only able to retrieve around 1% of the virus."

He went on to say that he hopes it could, after peer review, help to guide the government's policy as the country exits its current lockdown.

This doesn't mean we should be stopping washing our hands because of the study's findings, though.


Socially distanced sport


However, Dr. Edwards says there is still a potential risk of spreading the decision through playing sport if social distancing isn't maintained.

"We can now see it's [sharing sports equipment] less of a risk than before," he continued. "We should focus our attention on player-to-player transmissions."

The advice to maintain social distancing, wearing masks in close proximity or when travelling and being aware of respiratory transmission is still high on the agenda.

However, there's a potential glimmer of hope that there's a low risk of transmitting the virus through sharing equipment.

Hopefully, sporting activity will be back on the agenda sooner rather than later.

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