Applying Risk Management to Address Coronavirus Risk
The coronavirus threat and the ultimate impact on society and the sports community is unknown at this time. The situation is fluid with new information being released almost hourly regarding the progression of the COVID-19 outbreak and what steps various sports organizations are taking to address the situation. The trends have swung from mitigation to cancellation and now back to mitigation again with the planned reopening of various states. Any significant threat such as COVID-19 should be treated with the application of the risk management process.
There is safety in following the lead of authority sources
In order to prove negligence in failure to cancel or mitigate risks, courts will look to authority sources to determine the standard of care that is owed to sports organization staff, participants, and spectators. Therefore, sports organizations should pay close attention to the mandatory governmental regulations and/or recommended guidelines published by the various authority sources:
· Federal/State/Local government: Constantly monitor governmental health agencies such as U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your state's public health department, and other county/local authorities.
· School Districts: School districts provide localized advice based on the levels of coronavirus risk in a particular community. However, the risk components of school sports may be different than those posed by local, community-based sports organizations.
· Sports Governing Bodies: Monitor the website, emails, and social media from the sports governing bodies that oversee your sport. Examples of sports governing bodies include USOC, NCAA, NFHS, and USA Baseball.