Report: Big Ten's 21-day COVID policy may not be necessary
When the Big Ten established its COVID-19 protocols, there was a major concern in the medical community about athletes developing cardiac issues after contracting the virus.
The result: a mandatory 21 days in isolation for Big Ten athletes who test positive for the coronavirus.
However, cardiologists aren’t as concerned about potential heart issues as they were when that policy was written.
According to a report from Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger, some physicians are no longer recommending asymptomatic athletes go through cardiac screenings.
Exclusive: Cardiologists are finding so few heart issues in athletes they are no longer recommending screenings for most COVID positives.
How emerging data will impact protocols like B1G's 21-day policy.
Barry Alvarez: “It’s time to take a serious look"https://t.co/JFy2L0iDfV
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) October 28, 2020
This is especially relevant as Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz has reportedly tested positive, as well as five other Badgers so far. As a result, Wisconsin canceled its game vs Nebraska this weekend. But under the Big Ten’s current policy, those players wouldn’t be able to play in Week 3 vs. Purdue, either.
Dellenger spoke with Matthew Martinez, who is the co-author of a report that is changing the way cardiologists are viewing risk in some athletes.
“The vast majority of athletes are falling into the asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic group. The yield and events [of heart abnormalities] are small based on limited outcome data—very, very small,” Martinez said. “We are seeing that in the NCAA and also professional sports.”
It’s currently unclear whether the Big Ten will revise its policy, but Penn State athletic direct Sandy Barbour left the door open for that possibility.
“When we have enough data, we’ll take a look at that and see if the medical community wants to revise the recommendations, then the presidents and chancellors can make a decision,” Barbour told Dellenger.