Sports leagues, including Orlando Magic, deal with COVID outbreaks

Many sports fans were left disappointed this weekend after new COVID-19 infections led games across several leagues to be rescheduled. Orlando Magic fans were among them. 

The Magic started calling up four new players from a lower league in Lakeland to fill gaps in their lineup after five players tested positive for the virus. Those players were ruled ineligible to play, per NBA COVID-19 health and safety protocols.  

Florida's NHL teams have also been affected. The league has postponed Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers games, among others. They've also closed their training centers. 

Orlando doctors say the leagues are catching these cases because of their strict protocols.

"What we're seeing in professional sports is they're getting tested daily. If you or the general public got tested daily, the numbers would probably be astronomical at this point," says Dr. Jason Littleton, an Orlando physician.

The NFL has had to reschedule several games this weekend because of a COVID outbreak. So far, the league had to move games between Los Angeles and Seattle and Philadelphia and Washington. 

Doctors say it should give the rest of us more motivation to follow the steps to staying COVID-free, especially as the number of local COVID cases is rising. 

Orange County has seen a big jump in new COVID cases this past week with nearly 30,000 new cases reported and a 5.4% positivity rate.

"Play it safe," said Dr. Matthew Knight, an Orlando physician. "I do recommend everyone get fully vaccinated, especially if they're at-risk or elderly, and then just do your best."