Report: University of Illinois professor says hospitalizations, deaths likely if college football plays this season
A computer science professor at the University of Illinois has shared data that suggests that student-athletes are at risk of hospitalization and even death if the college football season is played this fall. Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports had the story on Tuesday.
Dr. Sheldon Jacobson said that he would expect a COVID-19 infection rate of 30-50 percent of the 13,000 student-athletes participating in football if the sport is played this fall. While the risk of hospitalizations and deaths is a small number, Jacobson there’s still strong possibility that is a consequence of moving forward with the season.
“A few of them could end up in the hospital, and you’ll have a small number who could die,” Jacobson told CBS Sports. “I don’t want to sugar coat it for you. I just want to give you the facts. … If everybody comes together under normal circumstances, we’ll probably see that kind of outcome.”
Jacobson said that the projections could change as more data becomes available. Given the current circumstances, the University of Illinois professor thinks its unavoidable that someone’s life ends because of the virus.
“I guarantee someone is going to die,” Jacobson said. “The virus does not discriminate.”
Several schools across the country have already welcomed student-athletes back to campus. Those colleges and universities have implemented COVID-19 protocols and guidelines to slow the spread of the virus. However, with several student-athletes testing positive for the virus already, there’s growing concern that the season will either be delayed or canceled.
More decisions are expected to come about the season this month.