The PGA Tour is set to return to the links for the Charles Schwab Challenge from June 11-14 at Colonial County Club in Fort Worth, Texas. Ahead of the sport’s return during the coronavirus pandemic, the tour has outlined a comprehensive coronavirus testing plan.
The new health and safety regulations were outlined in a 37-page document.
All players and caddies will be sent pre-travel tests and any positive tests will lead to a withdrawal from the tournament. Players will also have to hand their own clubs on the course, while they and caddies will be staying at a designated hotel.
“We all feel pretty good about it. We have been working with city and state officials and handling with the PGA Tour,” Colonial’s tournament director Michael Tothe said, according to the Star-Telegram. “I see, barring anything major unforeseen, this is going to happen.”
From The Globe and Mail:
Players and caddies will be sent pre-travel tests, and they will be given the RT-PCR test for COVID-19 when they arrive at tournaments. The test, authorized last month by the Food and Drug Administration, involves a nasal swab. Results typically take a couple of days, and the tour is hopeful of using local labs for a quicker turnaround. Anyone who tests positive will have to withdraw from the tournament and self-isolate for 10 days, provided there are no further symptoms and they get two negative tests 24 hours apart.
The coronavirus outbreak has led to the cancellation or postponing of many large events including The Masters, NCAA Tournament, Coachella, SXSW, the Winter X Games, Stagecoach, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and more. The NBA, NHL, and MLS have temporarily suspended their seasons.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 80,500 deaths in the United States and more than 1 million confirmed cases — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.