A year later: How sports continued during COVID-19 pandemic

A year later: How sports continued during COVID-19 pandemic
Basketball File Photo (Source: Josh Auzenne/WAFB-TV)

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - For the sports world, March 11 serves as the day sports came to an unexpected halt.

Everything started as a typical day in the NBA as the Utah Jazz were in Oklahoma City to play against the Thunder.

Suddenly right before tip-off, a team doctor sprinted on the court to inform referees and coaches that star center, Rudy Gobert, tested positive for COVID-19.

Players were rushed back to the locker room, and the game was canceled. Later that night, the NBA announced they were postponing the season indefinitely.

Once the NBA made this huge announcement, a domino effect took place in the sports world. League after league began postponing their seasons and canceling events.

A year later, sports organizations have made strides to resume play by taking the necessary precautions to deal with this deadly virus.

NASCAR was the first major American sport to resume amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Events are going to look different than they have in the past,” said John Bobo, NASCAR vice president of racing operations.

The guidelines set in place for these events mirrored the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing and using masks.

Similarly, other major sports leagues such as the NBA, MLB, and NHL followed suit to create plans for a safe return of play.

All plans adhered to health and safety protocols such as frequent testing, isolation, and quarantine periods.

As the number of cases continues to decline and more people are vaccinated, teams have begun to allow a limited amount of fans in arenas. Even so, precautions are in place to ensure everyone, from fans to players, is safe.

Sports may have been altered, but it has persevered and seeks to create a “new normal” for the future.

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