Screenshot: CNN

Friday was not a good day for sports as teams report an increase in positive coronavirus tests among their players.

Why it matters: Considering the NBA shut down in March over one positive test, and leagues and schools are now starting up again with hundreds of cases, there’s reason to be concerned about the viability of sports this summer and into the fall.

The state of play:

  • Nick Watney tested positive for COVID-19 and withdrew from the weekend’s PGA Tour event.
  • The Blue Jays and Phillies shut down their spring training facilities following outbreaks.
  • Clemson became the latest university to announce a flurry of positive tests among athletes and staff (including 23 football players).

The other side: Our knowledge about the virus has changed a lot since March, with improved testing and tracing, and a greater understanding of preventative measures and transmissibility, among other things.

  • The vast majority of athletes have not tested positive, and there are protocols in place for when someone does.

The bottom line: The return of sports amid a pandemic is complicated, to say the least, and requires extensive planning to mitigate risks.

  • But even the best laid plans will still likely result in positive tests.
  • So the fate of sports in 2020 could come down to leagues’ ability to contain the virus, rather than avoid it altogether.

Go deeper

21 hours ago - Health

CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people

CDC director Robert Redfield testifies at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Sept. 16. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its previously revised guidance for coronavirus testing on Friday to say that testing asymptomatic people who were exposed to COVID-19 is recommended for treatment and contact tracing.

Why it matters: The CDC's modification in August to recommend against testing for asymptomatic people was not written by scientists and posted despite their "serious objections," New York Times first reported. CNN confirmed that the agency's update was published outside the agency's "normal review process."

24 hours ago - Health

Rep. Khanna: COVID-19 could change the perception of public health care

Rep. Khanna and Axios' Margaret Talev

The universal experience of COVID-19 could change how opponents view Medicare for All, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said at an Axios virtual event on Friday.

What they're saying: "The pandemic has reminded us of our shared humanity with other American citizens. It's no longer possible to think, 'Oh, we're not part of those who get sick.' Now almost everyone knows, unfortunately, someone who has been hospitalized, someone who had a serious bout with COVID," Khanna said.

Rep. Brooks: We need to better prepare for pandemics

Axios' Margaret Talev (L) and Rep. Susan Brooks (R). Photo: Axios

Insufficient stockpiles and a lack of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic should serve as a warning for America on future preparedness, Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) said at an Axios virtual event on Friday.

What they're saying: "Congress had been beefing up for years — the appropriations for preparedness — it certainly was not enough, and we recognize that," Brooks said.