A Science Based Approach to Fans at Games

Discussion in 'GarryP's Trojan Huddle' started by PacTrojan, Jul 23, 2020.

  1. A Science Based Approach to Fans at Games
    PacTrojan

    PacTrojan Junior Member


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    I'm actually getting a better feeling that the Pac-12 football season will happen this year. The San Francisco Chronicle ran an article on the trick of designing a social distancing seating plan for a huge stadium. The real issue is not just two empty seats between fans but also the rows in front and behind the person, and getting 6 feet separation in those directions. Which explains why USC said that the Coliseum could only be at 19% or 16,500 fans under the LA county health department's 6 foot distancing requirement. From the article...

    "UCSF epidemiologist George Rutherford believes there's a way for both the 49ers and Warriors to have fans at games in the fall — even despite the fact that fans at Chase Center would be indoors, and there's a scientific consensus the virus spreads more easily indoors than outdoors.

    "Sports stadiums are so voluminous even the indoor ones have a lot of air volume," Rutherford said. "And they can control ventilation, increase air exchanges and those sorts of things."

    If Rutherford were in charge of putting together a set of guidelines for sports arenas to operate, it would start with mandatory mask wearing, especially in lines for concessions and bathrooms where keeping six feet of physical distancing is not always feasible. Fans would be encouraged to eat at distanced tables away from their seats, and would only take masks off in their seats when taking sips of their drinks.

    But the real challenge is figuring out seating arrangements. Some have floated the idea of 50% capacity, with fans in every other seat.

    "I think you’re flirting with disaster," Rutherford said of an every-other-seat sitting arrangement, citing the diagonal spacing issues as well as the fact that for most stadiums, one seat of separation does not equate to six feet. "This is not the fall to be trying to cut corners. Just take the hit."

    Assuming two seats in between fans provides enough room for six feet of physical distancing, Rutherford still notes that there is a big issue with the diagonal spacing.

    "You have to consider not using entire rows," he said. "People often forget the vertical and diagonal spacing."

    There's a way to stagger fans horizontally, vertically and diagonally that ensures a perfect six-foot social distancing bubble — but it means sections are mostly empty.

    However, Rutherford believes teams can be creative in expanding capacity beyond the 20-25% mark, noting the fact that not everyone needs to be distanced.

    "This is all saying people come to the football game by themselves, and of course, we've never seen that," he said. "It’s not insolvable. I had a conversation with someone recently who figured this out for the opera, where you can have blocks of people come, and ensure there's spacing around each group of people."

    Rutherford believes there's potentially another way to let even larger crowds into games: Require every individual who attends the game to get tested in the 24-48 hours beforehand and bring proof of a negative test to the gate.

    "You can turn around PCR tests in 24 hours," he said. "There's just a crush on the availability this second. If you did the testing, you could get away with no spacing and filling things up."

    There are some feasibility questions around such a large-scale testing system, especially with the region currently reporting long delays waiting for test results. But Rutherford believes testing fans is the easiest way for [professional] teams to avoid otherwise crushing financial losses.

    "To ensure you have can safely have fans, you can use testing, ventilation, social distancing, and masks," he said. "Those are your four interventions. If you take one off the table like testing, you’ve only got three to rely on, so you can't be scrimping on the social distancing and masks."​

    https://www.sfgate.com/49ers/article/Levi-s-Stadium-2020-fans-Chase-Center-coronavirus-15398097.php
     
       
  2. Trojack

    Trojack Junior Member


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    This guy should stick to the laboratory because it's obvious he has no idea what goes on at a sporting event. Nobody is going to keep their mask on for an entire a 3 1/2 hour game. NOBODY. This means that the only thing you can rely on to buffer the spread of exhaled air is distance and with people shouting (I hope he realizes that people at games do shout, sometimes loudly), you can throw all the distancing paradigms out the window. What's left? Testing with written proof of negativity? Try getting a test without symptoms.
     
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  3. PacTrojan

    PacTrojan Junior Member


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    From his UCSF Profile

    George Rutherford, III, MD
    Professor, Epidemiology & Biostatistics
    Director, Prevention and Public Health Group
    University of San Francisco School of Medicine

    Stanford University, A.B. 1974 - Classics
    Stanford University, B.S. 1975 - Chemistry
    Stanford University, A.M. 1975 - History
    Duke University, M.D. 1978 - Medicine
    University of California, San Diego, 1980 - Pediatrics
    University of Toronto - Hospital for Sick Children, 1981 - Pediatrics
    University of California, San Diego 1982 - Pediatrics
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer 1984
     
  4. Trojack

    Trojack Junior Member


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    Very impressive. Does he do windows?
     
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  5. Troy70

    Troy70 Junior Member


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    People that sat around me at Coli would say I was the loudest . Studies say that spreads the CV the most. Lucky for others Clay being retained got me to ban myself from Coli, lol.
     
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  6. Merlin4SC

    Merlin4SC Junior Member


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    I immediately designed a seating pattern for us that provided 6 feet and still protected at risk people if they wanted to attend games. It was poo poo'd because people were too scared to go to any games at that point. So I know this is more than possible, but it will take some extra time getting fewer people into the Coli. The point is that different people have different COVID levels of concern and needs, and there are 4 basics types to be seated accordingly, and some who should stay home altogether.

    Bottom line, we should press on with the season and for the financial losses, give China the bill.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
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  7. gubo&palanka

    gubo&palanka Points Member

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    In the article he makes the analogy with opera. LOL
     
  8. KeenObserver

    KeenObserver Junior Member


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    This should be retitled as political and bureaucratic approach to games based upon assumptions and control.
     
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  9. Cardinal&Gold

    Cardinal&Gold Junior Member


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    Who's science? That word is only as good as the integrity of the person who did the study. We all know Ivy League scientists cannot be corrupted. Right? Seems like alot of people are getting paid to cook the books in the name of science.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
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