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NFL games could be the perfect storm for spreading coronavirus even without fans, Dr. Fauci warns

Don't get your hopes up, football fans.Even without spectators in the seats, Dr. Anthony Fauci...

Posted: May 12, 2020 3:22 AM

Don't get your hopes up, football fans.

Even without spectators in the seats, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned in an interview with NBC Sports' Peter King that NFL games could be the "perfect setup for spreading" coronavirus.

"I think it's feasible that negative-testing players could play to an empty stadium," Fauci said in the interview. "Is it guaranteed? No way."

However, Fauci cautioned that it all depends on the level of infection in the community -- if the infection rate is still high, "you can't have a season -- it's impossible," he said.

The interview came nearly two weeks after Fauci said in an interview with The New York Times that some sports may have to prepare to not play out this season, and a week after the NFL released its regular season schedule. The league is preparing for games to start this fall, despite CDC guidelines warning against large events and mass gatherings.

In the NBC Sports interview, the straight-talking doctor painted a scenario to show how easy it is for players in a close contact sport such as football to spread the virus. While Fauci said that sweat won't transmit the virus, someone with the virus could easily spread it to different parts of their body, and as soon as they come in contact with another player, it could just as easily infect them.

When King asked Fauci what would happen if four players on a team tested positive, Fauci was blunt: You would have to "shut it down."

"You got a problem there," Fauci said to King.

"You know why? Because it is likely that if four of them are positive and they've been hanging around together, that the other ones that are negative are really positive. So, I mean, if you have one outlier (only one player testing positive), I think you might get away. But once you wind up having a situation where it looks like it's spread within a team, you got a real problem. You gotta shut it down," he said.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the White House's coronavirus task force, told CNN on Monday he himself will begin a "modified quarantine" after making a "low-risk" contact with the White House staffer who tested positive for the coronavirus.

The "low risk" assessment means he was not in close proximity to the person who tested positive during the time when that person was known to be positive for the virus.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 590270

Reported Deaths: 5953
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah97106944
Washington71639465
Marion57369570
Clackamas51367461
Lane46136397
Deschutes38929226
Jackson35599418
Linn21339221
Umatilla20036190
Douglas16606324
Yamhill14371169
Josephine13575291
Polk12394115
Benton1177246
Klamath11734179
Coos8765129
Malheur715896
Columbia616267
Jefferson598371
Lincoln550962
Crook487262
Union428165
Wasco412950
Clatsop380137
Tillamook300154
Hood River293039
Baker278540
Curry266541
Morrow264126
Grant141018
Harney133335
Lake117223
Wallowa102013
Sherman2703
Gilliam2394
Wheeler1722
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 7907630

Reported Deaths: 78798
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles251977828507
San Diego6788794566
Riverside5538325661
San Bernardino5312966281
Orange5285305970
Santa Clara2707802005
Sacramento2571612624
Alameda2250151583
Fresno2094302430
Kern2030661974
Contra Costa1694961092
Ventura1619651261
San Joaquin1530831959
Stanislaus1192851521
San Francisco114106704
Tulare1110101219
San Mateo106229647
Santa Barbara76208590
Monterey72854654
Sonoma71321432
Solano70902400
Placer60385518
Merced58766730
Imperial54251824
San Luis Obispo47086386
Kings45237397
Santa Cruz38399237
Madera34397336
Butte33592350
Yolo33229273
Marin31618253
Shasta31403515
El Dorado25497179
Napa21682111
Sutter19031200
Humboldt16139129
Yuba14524103
Nevada14357112
Tehama12538145
Mendocino12437113
San Benito1163591
Unassigned109613
Tuolumne1049191
Lassen899459
Lake8946118
Amador730973
Calaveras626695
Siskiyou587264
Glenn563639
Del Norte451843
Inyo395550
Colusa392621
Mono28914
Plumas252812
Mariposa243719
Trinity120319
Modoc8686
Sierra2800
Alpine1200
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