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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Reopening elite sport during the COVID-19 pandemic: Experiences from a controlled return to elite football in Denmark

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As the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate decreased in spring 2020, phased reopening of Danish society began, including a reopening of elite football (soccer), adhering to a strict protocol. In this study, we report the consequences of resumption of competitive play in the two best football (soccer) leagues for men in Denmark measured by number of SARS-CoV-2 positive players. The players were tested weekly for SARS-CoV-2 for 11 consecutive weeks. The test protocol comprised 26 teams with 748 players. In total, 6511 tests were done with a positivity rate of 0.06%. The incidence rate of players testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 was 0.53% (4/748). There were no signs of a chain of infection. We found a low incidence rate of SARS-CoV-2, and based on this, a controlled reopening of professional football strictly following a detailed protocol appears safe for the players.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports
Volume31
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)936-939
Number of pages4
ISSN0905-7188
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

    Research areas

  • 2019-nCoV, athlete, coronavirus, COVID-19, elite sport, football, SARS-CoV-2, soccer

ID: 64183531