Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many professional sports leagues have turned to using a bubble as a way to keep players safe and control the spread of the virus.
How has it worked?
MLS announced zero confirmed positive cases in people participating in the tournament at Disney since July 12 -- when the last positive cases were reported.
While playing in a bubble in Orlando, the NBA has reported zero positive cases since July 20.
The NHL announced their testing Monday, saying that since July 27 -- when the league entered bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton, there have been no positive tests out of more than 7,000 tests administered to players, coaches, and staff.
MLB is not playing in a bubble, and the results have been much different. First, 18 players and staff members on the Miami Marlins tested positive, causing the team to miss a week of games, which also impacted their opponents.
On Monday, the St. Louis Cardinals’ series against the Detroit Tigers was postponed because seven Cardinals players and six staff members tested positive. The Cardinals have been in quarantine in Milwaukee since Thursday, where their series with the Brewers was also postponed due to positive tests.
The NFL is still in question. The Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson tested positive for COVID-19 and is self-quarantining.
More than 60 players from around the league have been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list so far, including Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew. Some players have been reactivated.
If the NFL is going to move forward with a season as planned -- and as of now, they are-- will the league find a way to try to further isolate players? It’s tougher to do that when not in a bubble. Baseball has shown that.
Football may have an edge in terms of travel. With only one game a week, you’re talking about eight road trips for each team. Eight nights in a hotel on the road. Can they make those hotels a “mini-bubble?” It remains to be seen.
The league is doing everything it can to ensure that games aren’t postponed, but it certainly appears that it’s easier to do that in a controlled environment.