A noted University of Illinois computer science professor has some troubling data to consider regarding widespread infection and even death.
Dr. Sheldon Jacobson told CBS Sports he expects a 30%-50% infection rate of the approximately 13,000 players competing in FBS this season. Based on his research, he also projects 3-7 deaths among those players due to COVID-19.
“A few of them could end up in the hospital, and you’ll have a small number who could die,” Jacobson told CBS Sports. “I don’t want to sugar coat it for you. I just want to give you the facts. … If everybody comes together under normal circumstances, we’ll probably see that kind of outcome.”
Jacobson made his projections from CDC data that estimates one death per 1,000 people who have symptoms in the college age group (18-22). Taking into account that range and medical care provided for football players, the death rate would be lower than the general population, Jacobson said.
He stressed those numbers could change. Based on available statistics, less than 1% of the U.S. population has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Approximately 5% of the 2.6 million cases in the U.S. have resulted in death.
Obviously, not everyone has been tested. However, with students assembling in large numbers on campuses in the fall, that ramps up the overall risk and likelihood of infection at universities.
“I guarantee someone is going to die,” Jacobson said.
… Jacobson’s estimates were backed up by Dr. Michael Saag, professor of medicine and infectious diseases at UAB.
“That’s not a hard projection to make now that I’m sitting here thinking about it,” Saag said. “Any death would be horrible. More than a couple would be a shame, actually.”
“More than a couple would be a shame” makes for a hell of an epitaph for the 2020 college football season, actually.