Coronavirus Update: Big Ten Football to Resume this Fall
Keep up with regular news updates regarding Columbus and Ohio’s response to COVID-19 here.
COVID-19 cases — As of Wednesday, Sept. 16, 19,845 cases and 480 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported or are probable in Columbus and Worthington. Countywide, 26,555 cases and 655 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported by Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health.
Statewide, 140,518 cases and 4,555 deaths have been confirmed or are probable, as reported by the Ohio Department of Health, with 118,443 presumed recovered.
Big Ten Football is Back — The Big Ten Conference announced on Wednesday, Sept. 16 that football season will resume the weekend of October 23-24, 2020.
Conference officials said there would be “significant medical protocols” in place, including daily antigen testing and enhanced cardiac screening. The conference with take a “data-driven approach” when making decisions about practices and games.
Student-athletes, coaches, trainers and other people to be on the field will undergo daily testing.
Dr. Jim Borchers, head team physician at The Ohio State University and co-chair of the Big Ten Return to Competition Task Force medical subcommittee said, “The data we are going to collect from testing and the cardiac registry will provide major contributions for all 14 Big Ten institutions as they study COVID-19 and attempt to mitigate the spread of the disease among wider communities.”
Team test positivity rate and population positivity rate thresholds will be used to determine recommendations for practice and games as time goes on. A team positivity rate of over 5% and a population positivity rate of over 7.5% in a seven-day rolling average will result in a stoppage of regular practice and competition for at least a week and reassessment until improved.
Daily testing will begin Sept. 30. Updates regarding fall sports other than football will be announced shortly.
Governor Signs Civil Immunity Law — On Monday, Sept. 14, Gov. DeWine signed House Bill 606 into law. The law provides civil immunity to individuals, schools, health care providers, businesses, and others from lawsuits due to exposure, transmission or contraction of COVID-19, “as long as they were not showing reckless, intentional, or willful misconduct.”
For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.