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Virus-proofing sports facilities presents a big challenge

By DAVE CAMPBELL AP Sports Writer MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The jersey-wearing camaraderie. The scent of sizzling sausages. The buzz before a big game. The distinctive atmosphere of live sports, that feeling in the air, will return in time as pandemic restrictions are eased. But will that very air be safe in a closed arena with other fans in attendance? The billions of dollars spent on state-of-the-art sports facilities over the last quarter-century have made high-efficiency air filtration systems more common, thanks in part to the pursuit of green and healthy building certifications. Upgrades will likely increase in the post-coronavirus era, too. The problem is that even the cleanest of air can’t keep this particular virus from spreading; if someone coughs or sneezes, those droplets are in the air. That means outdoor ballparks have high contaminant potential, too. “Most of the real risk is going to be short-distance transmission, people sitting within two, three or four seats of each other,” said Ryan Demmer, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. “It’s not really about the virus spreading up, getting into the ventilation system and then getting blown out to the entire stadium because this virus doesn’t seem to transmit that way. It doesn’t aerosolize that well.” The three hours spent in proximity to thousands of others is part of the fan experience. It's also why major sports leagues have been discussing plans to reopen in empty venues, for now. High-touch areas with the potential to spread the virus — called fomite transmission — are plentiful at the ballgame, of course. Door handles. Stair rails. Restroom fixtures. Concession stands. Hand washing by now has become a societal norm, but disinfectant arsenals need to be brought up to speed, too. “I can’t really find good hand sanitizer easily in stores. So think about trying to scale that up, so everybody who comes into U.S. Bank Stadium gets a little bottle of Purel. Things like that can be modestly helpful,” Demmer said. There is much work to be done. Vigilant sanitizing of the frequent-touch surfaces will be a must. Ramped-up rapid testing capability during pre-entry screening could become common for fans. Minimizing concourse and entry bottlenecks, and maintaining space between non-familial attendees, could be mandatory. Mask-wearing requirements? Maybe. Most experts, including those at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, believe the primary mode of transmission for COVID-19 is close person-to-person contact through breathing, coughing or sneezing but there's no consensus on some of the details. “There’s still widespread disagreement between experts on which mode of transmission dominates for influenza. So the likelihood of us figuring this out soon for this virus is low,” said Joe Allen, director of the Healthy Buildings Program and an assistant professor at Harvard’s School of Public Health. “We may never figure it out, but I also think it’s irrelevant because it’s a pandemic and we should be guarding against all of them.” Including, of course, the air. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers designed the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) scale to measure a filtration system's effectiveness (from 1-16) at capturing microscopic airborne particles that can make people sick. Not just viruses, but dust, pollen, mold and bacteria. Most experts recommend a MERV rating of 13 or higher, the minimum standard for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. An emerging technology in this area is called bipolar ionization. Connecticut-based AtmosAir has a bipolar ionization air treatment system in about 40 sports venues. Staples Center in Los Angeles was one of the first major sports customers. TD Garden in Boston and Bridgestone Arena in Nashville are among the others who’ve signed on. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority approved last year a 10-year contract for a little more than $1 million with AtmosAir to install its system in U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Vikings and the first indoor NFL stadium to use it. The building, which measures 1.8 million square feet, has 53 air handling units with AtmosAir tubes installed, including 30 in the seating bowl. The ions act like fresh air, reducing the amount of outside air needed to be introduced for the cleansing process. The protein spikes in the coronavirus particles make them easier to catch and kill, said Philip Tierno, a New York University School of Medicine professor of microbiology and pathology. Said AtmosAir founder and CEO Steve Levine: “We’re never going to create a mountaintop, but we’re going to put in maybe three to four times the ions over the ambient air and then let those ions attack different pollutants in the air. The ions grab onto particles and spores and make them bigger and heavier, so they’re much easier to filter out of the air." The next time fans do pass through the turnstiles, in a few weeks or a few months, in most cases they will probably encounter an unprecedented level of cleanliness. “There will be some controls that are visible, extra cleaning and disinfection, but some of it will be invisible, like for what’s happening in the air handling system,” said Allen, the Harvard professor. “The consumers will decide when they feel comfortable going back, and that’s going to depend on what strategies are put in place in these venues and stadiums and arenas and, most importantly, how well these organizations communicate that to the paying public.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJun 1st, 2020

PSC vows no job layoffs despite financial woes amid pandemic

While unemployment has risen to an alarming rate amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Philippine Sports Commission assured its employees that there will no layoffs in the agency. Appearing on Tuesday’s online session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum, chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez said that despite a meager budget with nothing more to spare, the PSC will continue to carry out its day-to-day operations. Even under these very difficult times, the PSC puts priority on the welfare of its workers Ramirez stressed.   “Even before COVID, we have communicated with Malacanang that we will let go of some contractual employees,” said Ramirez, adding that it would have taken effect on Aug. 31. But the global pandemic made the PSC change its mind. “We in the PSC board made a collective decision that it will not happen. We will not remove anyone from the PSC unless there is cause. We are in very difficult times,” said Ramirez. The PSC has 250 regular employees and more than 250 contractuals. “Sa kahirapan ngayon, ano ang kakainin nila?” said Ramirez, currently staying with his wife at the athletes’ quarters at the PhilSports Complex (formerly ULTRA) in Pasig City. The agency months ago implemented belt-tightening measures, including a 50 percent ‘equity reduction’ on the allowances of the national athletes and coaches. But despite the financial difficulties, athletes and coaches continue to receive their allowances, and can expect to get their regular stipends once the situation improves or when the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) resumes its monthly remittances of close to P100 million to the PSC. Ramirez also added government sports agency is thinking beyond sports, and talked about “fortitude and sacrifice" during the Forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, Milo, PAGCOR, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and powered by Smart, with Upstream Media as official webcast partner. At the height of the lockdown, the national government channeled P1 billion of PSC money for COVID-19 purposes. The PSC has also allowed the use of its facilities like the Rizal Coliseum and Ninoy Aquino Stadium in the fight against the deadly virus. The PSC has also donated 350 beds and close to 500 laptops that were used during last year’s Southeast East Asian Games to various government offices during the pandemic. “The PSC is not only focused on sports now. We are adapting to the new environment,” said Ramirez......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 18th, 2020

Damian Lillard emerges from shutdown ready for playoff push

By ANNE M. PETERSON AP Sports Writer PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Grieving the death of a cousin and missing his mother, Damian Lillard struggled emotionally after the NBA shut down because of the coronavirus. But he also found inspiration in his activism for Black Lives Matter and his flourishing music career. The Trail Blazers were just out of the playoff picture, sitting ninth in the Western Conference standings on March 11 when the league was shuttered. The team will be among 22 that will depart next week for Orlando as part of the re-start. Portland will have eight games to secure a playoff berth, starting on July 31 with Memphis. “We don’t have time to ease our way in, we don't have time to try and figure stuff out, we’ve got to come in assertive and aggressive and just go after it,” he said. “And if we fail, we fail, but we gotta at least come out there with that mentality of we don’t have time to kind of ease into it.” Lillard welcomes the chance to resume playing after a difficult few months. He admittedly had no idea how serious the virus was when the league closed down. He went to Phoenix with his family, intent on finding a gym to stay in shape during the layoff. But the NBA said players couldn't go to third-party facilities or trainers because of health concerns. While grateful that he had his fiance and son with him, Lillard essentially sheltered in place once he got back to Portland. He didn't see his mom for more than a month. And then his cousin and personal chef, Brandon Johnson, suddenly passed away. “It was tough, man. I think that was when I got to the point where I was like, if I was waking up and it wasn’t a sunny day, it was messing with my mood. It was just tough,” Lillard said. “I got through it, just from having a lot of my family around. That really helped. So I can see why somebody who is with one person or by themselves would have a really hard time. Definitely a tough few months.” Always diligent about his fitness, Lillard found a way to train. Then George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, touching off nationwide protests over police brutality. Lillard marched in Portland. He also released a powerful rap "Blacklist,'' under his music persona, Dame D.O.L.L.A. “I grew up with Oscar Grant, who was killed at a BART station while handcuffed facedown. I’ve been racially profiled by cops, before I was in the NBA. So I have thoughts and feelings about this stuff. That’s what Blacklist was about,” he said. Lillard was averaging 28.9 points and 7.8 assists this season. In January he scored 61 points in a game against the Warriors and he had seven games with 40 or more points. He'll be among those sequestered at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex for games, but the resumption of the season comes as cases of COVID-19 are spiking in Florida. Some players have opted out, including Portland's Trevor Ariza and Caleb Swanigan. But Portland will see the return of big men Jusuf Nurkic, now recovered from a broken leg last season, and Zach Collins, who was sidelined with a shoulder injury. One thing that's not a concern for the Blazers is fitness. “They’ve been very diligent about taking care of themselves, both in the weight room and on the court, and treatment. So I’ve been very impressed with all of their conditioning," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “They’re not an NBA game shape yet, but I think with a month to go, with the practices that we’re going to have, and the way they’ve taken care of themselves so far, I don’t think it’s a stretch that they’ll be more than ready.” Lillard is confident in his own ability to stay healthy, but he doesn't quite trust everyone else. The NBA announced this week that nine additional players had tested positive for the virus, bringing the total of league players who have contracted it to 25. “I feel like it’s still a possibility for something to spread within that bubble, just with there been so many people and so many different things that we’ve got to follow to be safe, even though we’re not exposed to the public,” he said. “So for me, it’s gonna be, `What time is practice? What time can I get in the weight room, What time can I get some shots up? What’s the plan for game day?' I’m going to be in the room. I’m going to have my PS3, my PS4. I’m going to have my studio equipment, my mike, my laptop. I’m going to have all my books. I mean, that’s it. I’m going to be in the room, chillin'.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 6th, 2020

Stanley Pringle gets TikTok tutorial from Maja Salvador

We all know what Barangay Ginebra Gin King Stanley Pringle can do on the basketball court.  The high-scoring guard is a PBA champion, a five-time All-Star, a one-time Mythical Team selection, and was the 2015 PBA Rookie of the Year.  With the PBA and almost all sports in the Philippines currently experiencing some downtime thanks to the COVID-19 virus however, it looks like Stanley is looking to try his hand at something else to pass the time...like TikTok for example.  Like all great athletes, Stanley isn't afraid to ask for some help, and it looks like he's reached out to someone who knows her way around the super-popular social media platform in cousin Maja Salvador.  In a series of clips posted on Maja's official account, it looks like she's doing a swell job of teaching Stanley how to move and groove, TikTok style!  @majasalvador88 when your cuzin wants to learn TikTok ???? ##StanleyPringle ? Coño (feat. Jhorrmountain x Adje) - Puri @majasalvador88 and another one... ##SavageLove with the Cuzzo ##StanleyPringle ? Savage Love (Laxed - Siren Beat) - Jawsh 685 & Jason Derulo @majasalvador88 Last one! @rambotronic finally joined us! ???? ##StanleyPringle ? Pick It Up Challenge - pacificsoundz Stanley's looking like a natural, to be honest.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 6th, 2020

 Bucks reportedly close practice facilities over virus concerns

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks have become the league’s latest team to close their practice facility in the wake of coronavirus testing, ESPN reported on Sunday. The US sports network reported the Bucks closed the facility after receiving results from COVID-19 tests conducted on Friday, although it wasn’t clear how many may […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsJul 6th, 2020

Cafes, shops reopen as Singapore eases virus curbs

Shops and cafes reopened in Singapore on Friday as coronavirus measures were relaxed — but the city-state’s leader warned people “not to go overboard celebrating”. More than two months after a partial lockdown was imposed, massage parlors and spas also resumed operations while beaches were no longer off limits and sports and other facilities opened […] The post Cafes, shops reopen as Singapore eases virus curbs appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 19th, 2020

Golf makes a conservative return with an eye on the long run

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan went from wondering if any golf would be played this year to a schedule that resumes next week with a calendar filled through Thanksgiving. What hasn't changed is his belief that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic isn't over just because golf is back. “I don't think it's over," Monahan said Friday in a telephone interview. “I'm really confident in the plan. But you spend a lot of your time, given the uncertainty, thinking through scenarios that could play out. That's what we'll continue to do. We won't be comfortable until we're told we can be comfortable. That will be when we have a vaccine and there's no risk.” Golf is the second major sports league to return behind NASCAR, which began racing three weeks ago and ran nine national series races in a span of 14 days. The Charles Schwab Challenge next week in Fort Worth, Texas, has one of the strongest fields in Colonial's rich history, starting with the top five players from the world ranking. There will be no spectators for at least a month, even though Texas Gov. Greg Abbott this week moved the state to Phase III in the recovery that allows outdoor events at 50% capacity. “We've developed a safety plan that doesn't include spectators. That's what we stand by,” Monahan said. “We want to have a sustained return. If you think about a run to go through the FedEx Cup, we want to make sure week to week we're not taking on unnecessary risk.” Monahan said he is “not the arbiter of confidence,” rather it comes from guidance of health experts at all levels and a plan that involves testing players, caddies and essential personnel as much as twice a week — trying to create a bubble for the traveling circus that is golf. Players were mailed a test kit and were recommended to use it before they travel. They will be tested when they arrive at tournaments and before they leave if they're on charter flights the tour has arranged, and then the process is repeated at the next tournament. Thermal readings and health surveys are required daily, along with sanitizing and social distancing. “It's the only manner we could return,” he said. The tour added another layer this week in a deal with South Dakota-based Sanford Health to have mobile labs at every tournament, with capacity to get results in a matter of hours without taking away resources from the markets where they play. Monahan said CBS Sports is creating its own bubble for the telecast, with Jim Nantz the only person in the booth and other analysts working remotely. Ninety days will have passed from the opening round of The Players Championship, which was canceled the next day, until the first tee shot at Colonial. “We all went home dealing with the same questions,” he said. “How do I get a complete understanding of where we are with the virus and all the elements? How do we recognize that we're turning off (canceling) 11 events? How do you think about resumption and at the same time develop a safety and testing program, not our area of expertise?" The reset began with the majors picking new dates — the British Open was canceled — with the PGA Championship in San Francisco moving to Aug. 6-9, the U.S. Open in New York on Sept. 17-20, and the Masters on Nov. 12-15. “At that time it was very unclear where we would be with safety and testing,” Monahan said. “It could have been earlier than we are, it could have been through points of next year. Information was changing by the minute.” Now that golf is returning, Monahan couldn't predict when spectators would return. He said the tour has worked with tournaments the last several years on building a reserve fund for a crisis such as this. “If you’re not selling tickets, and there’s not hospitality, you don’t have the pro-am experience or the honorary observer program for the sponsor ... that’s a significant financial impact on those tournaments, and the impact on the way tournaments connect with their communities,” he said. Tournaments and their title sponsors still have managed to raise money for their local charities. The Zurich Classic matched last year's donation of $1.5 million to a children's services foundation. The John Deere Classic expects $10 million in donations, even though it canceled its July event. The pandemic is not the only talking point as golf tries to get back on track. The tour on Friday posted Monahan's letter to staff and players on the nation's civil unrest, which the AP first reported on Tuesday. He had a 10-minute video conversation with Harold Varner III, one of three PGA Tour members of black heritage, who wrote passionately on social media on George Floyd, killed when a white police officer held a knee to the back of Floyd's neck while the black man was handcuffed. The conversation was scheduled before the protests began, and Varner was chosen because he's on the Player Advisory Council and golf was ready to resume. “We'll be talking about COVID and civil and social unrest for some time,” Monahan said. “Next week will not be an exception on that front.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 6th, 2020

PSC ready to assist athletes returning from abroad

Philippine Sports Commission chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez assured athletes returning from abroad that the agency has the means to assist them. Ramirez reminded all athletes who wish to fly back to the country to notify the PSC’s National Sports Association Affairs Office of their return itinerary so that they can be assisted with the quarantine process once they arrive. In his appearance in the online edition of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum, Ramirez pointed out that if only men’s volleyball player Bryan Bagunas had contacted them upon his arrival, the agency could’ve immediately addressed his needs.     The 30th Southeast Asian Games silver medalist flew in from Japan last May 15 and took the required swab test in NAIA Terminal 1 upon his arrival. Bagunas, who returned to the country after the tournament in Japan that his team Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler was supposed to join got cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, tweeted his concerns with the long wait for his test result while holed up in a hotel in Quezon City on May 20. Netizens as well as the media took notice of his tweet with ABS-CBN Sports reporter Dyan Castillejo informing Ramirez of Bagunas’ situation.     “Wala naman kasi kaming communication doon. Ang nag-communicate lang sa amin si Miss (Dyan) Castillejo,” said Ramirez. “Dapat pag may problema sila kausapin din nila ang NSA Affairs,” the PSC chief added. “Nalaman lang natin sa mga kaibigan nating sportswriters na may problema na sila. Sana tumakbo kaagad sila sa amin para masagot namin ang kanilang mga problema.” Ramirez immediately acted upon learning about the athlete’s situation and on May 21, six days after his arrival, Bagunas’ test result was released. Testing negative for the virus, the volleyball star was cleared to go home.   Going forward, Ramirez said that the PSC has three ambulances on standby and ready to pick up and bring athletes arriving from abroad to designated quarantine facilities while waiting for their swab test results.   Ramirez reiterated that the PSC is always open to attend to the national athletes’ needs especially in this time of crisis. All they have to do is inform the agency. “The NSA Affairs together with MSAS (medical scientific athlete services) can work together and assist them,” he said. “Matagal na namin itong na-prepare pero kung di nila kami tatawagan di namin alam ang problema nila.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 3rd, 2020

Casimero out to finish off Cuban foe early

By CARLO ANOLIN John Riel Casimero, on a rare occasion, commended his Cuban opponent Guillermo Rigondeaux for accepting the challenge once more as the two dispute the Filipino’s WBO bantamweight title at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California on Aug. 14.But Casimero’s trash talking did not stop during Showtime Boxing’s press conference Friday, […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsAug 13th, 2021

Fitness tip: Go to YouTube, instead of gyms

During the Sports Challenge of the Miss World-Philippines 2021 candidates at the Tyro Sorta shooting range in San Simon, Pampanga, Slam Book asked one of the official candidates, Donna Marie Jan Balaoro, what her fitness regimen is......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 24th, 2021

SMC turns new, modern sports facility into vax site for essential employees

San Miguel Corporation recently opened its new, state-of-the-art sports facility--a “dream come true” future home for the company’s professional basketball teams, who for years have had to pay other facilities for practice time. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJun 28th, 2021

PSC launches Zumbarangay PH challenge for women

The Philippine Sports Commission recently launched a program to promote Filipino women’s physical and mental wellbeing dubbed the “Zumbarangay Pilipinas” or Solo Exercise On Cam Challenge......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJun 20th, 2021

Inspect leisure facilities, barangay captains told

The Department of the Interior and Local Government has ordered barangay captains to conduct regular inspections of sports, recreation and leisure facilities due to the continuous violation of quarantine and health protocols......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 3rd, 2021

‘Heroes Adventure Challenge’, monthlong virtual sports event, starts July 10 

CEBU CITY Philippines — Cebuano sports buff have something to look forward to in the coming months as several Cebu-based groups joined hands to organize the first “Heroes Adventure Challenge”, a virtual multi-sporting event slated on July 10 to August 10, 2021.  The run, bike and elevation bike non-competitive sporting event is organized by Active […] The post ‘Heroes Adventure Challenge’, monthlong virtual sports event, starts July 10  appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 31st, 2021

Go lauds Duterte on NAS

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go praised President Rodrigo Duterte for his approval of the timely release of the budget for the construction of the facilities and amenities of the National Academy of Sports (NAS) at the New Clark City Sports Complex in Capas, Tarlac......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 19th, 2021

PSC ready to overcome budget woes

The Philippine Sports Commission is bracing for bigger expenditures with several national sports associations expected to do separate “bubble” trainings due to the unavailability of its sports facilities in Manila and Pasig that are being used as COVID-19 facilities......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 27th, 2021

Reviving sports business

Make no mistake… there is business in sports. Unfortunately, sports in all its forms is locked down for over a year now.  The gains of the past are slowly eroding away and there is no clarity about the future.  Discussions with various sports stakeholders revolve on the challenge of how to get back on track......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsApr 19th, 2021

Asawa ni Beauty tinamaan din ng COVID: I didn’t know what to do…I was going out of my mind

TINAMAAN din ng COVID-19 ang asawang negosyante ni Beauty Gonzalez na si Norman Crisologo. Ayon sa aktres, matindi ang mga challenge na hinarap niya at ng kanyang pamilya nitong mga nagdaang linggo matapos mahawa ng COVID-19 ang mister. Ibinahagi ni Beauty sa Instagram ang naging journey ni Norman sa paglaban sa nakamamatay na virus at […] The post Asawa ni Beauty tinamaan din ng COVID: I didn’t know what to do…I was going out of my mind appeared first on Bandera......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 5th, 2021

Can you find the hidden panda? – Televisa news

In social networks the virus has spread a a challenge Thousands of people have tried to solve itSome are successful and others are unlucky. Can.....»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsMar 21st, 2021

103 personnel sa PNP Region 3 nagpositibo sa COVID-19

Umabot sa 103 personnel ng Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3)  ang nagpositibo sa coronavirus disease (COVID-19) nitong Sabado. Sinabi ni PRO3 Regional Director PB Gen Valeriano De Leon na agad na inilipat ang mga tinamaan ng virus sa mga quarantine facilities. Idinagdag ni De Leon na pinaigting na ng PRO3 ang mga protocol sa Camp […] The post 103 personnel sa PNP Region 3 nagpositibo sa COVID-19 appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMar 21st, 2021

Sports rising

For one brief moment in our history, the world stood still. Late in 2019, when the virus was first detected, mankind stopped. Covid-19 was a democratic virus which did not anyone and placed everyone at risk. Life as we knew it was halted......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2021