UW Health: Why sports bubbles work and if doctors believe they will continue

UW Health: Why sports bubbles work and if doctors believe they will continue

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – As the NCAA heads into Final Four weekend, many have heard about sports bubbles.

The concept was put on display in 2020 during the NBA playoffs in Orlando, Florida. Now, a doctor from UW Health is explaining why they work and if he thinks they will continue into the future.

“For the most part they’re [athletes] getting tested daily,” UW Health’s Chief Quality Officer Dr. Jeff Pothof said. “They’re basically sequestered in their rooms, they’re not even eating together and it really is this all hands on deck effort to ensure that they can play these games successfully.”

As Pothof explained, the strict rules is what helps make the bubbles successful, but it is a lot of work.

“The fact of the matter is the resources and the money that’s required to set up these bubbles is extensive,” he said.

That’s why Pothof wants to make sure everyone understands it can’t be easily replicated.

“What we don’t want is people to see something happening on TV where people are unmasked and close together and hugging or they’re playing these games and say, ‘You know what that must mean it’s not so bad for my kids to be playing basketball around the state,’ they think that it’s the same thing and it absolutely isn’t,” Pothof said.

He believes as more people get vaccinated, the concept of sports bubbles will fade, but says he wouldn’t be surprised if some teams keep mask requirements, especially during flu season.

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