DALLAS and FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - A coronavirus outbreak on baseball's Miami Marlins has people involved in pro and high school sports in North Texas wondering about COVID-19's impact on other sports' seasons this year.
Every sports organization is paying close attention to what happens next since it could have an impact on the NFL, college football and high school athletics.
"We've never seen anything like this," said Jim Reeves, who retired after 40 years as a sports columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
It was an unusual opening weekend for the Texas Rangers, with no fans in the stands, but there was still excitement for the return of America's pastime.
"I think it's looking for some sense of normalcy, some sense that we are back in the world we're used to and there's an end to all this," Reeves said.
The end, however, is nowhere in sight.
"I think that this happened so quickly is just a good demonstration of how easily this virus is to transmit," said Dr. Diana Cervantes, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the UNT Health Science Center.
With more than a dozen Miami Marlins players and coaches testing positive for COVID-19, the league was forced to postpone multiple games.
The outbreak doesn't bode well for the NFL's upcoming season.
"That's even more of a physical, together sport than baseball is," said Reeves. "It's going to be very difficult."
Student-athletes could see the effects as well.
"I was definitely concerned," said Silvia Salinas, the Executive Director of Athletics for Dallas ISD. "I mean that's frightening."
Salinas says they're watching what happens with the MLB as they work on plans for fall sports.
"It's not that people don't want to have activities and sports – it's just the how," she said. "That's the big question. How are we going to do it where everybody is safe?"
And if a professional league with deep pockets can't stop the spread of the virus, can public schools?
"It's something to take into consideration – that even with all these resources, there's still transmission going on," Dr. Cervantes said.
She said the outbreak proves all sports organizations and schools need to have a very thorough plan in place on how to not just identify positive COVID-19 cases, but how to then prevent the virus from continuing to spread, because it's going to be inevitable in these situations.
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