Research Shows Low Risk of Covid Transmission at Outdoor Sporting Events

An independent report, commissioned by parkrun, that estimates the risk of transmission of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) at parkrun events.

Utilising data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) from March 2021, looking at the prevalence of the virus, alongside antibody levels within the population, the study finds that, on average, were parkruns to have been open in March this year, at 30% of events there would not have been be an infectious person present, and at events where an infectious person did participate, there would have been an average R value of only 0.057.

With continued rapid roll-out of vaccines across the UK, alongside decreased levels of infection, parkrun events should already be even safer than the model predicts, and safer again by the time parkrun returns across England in June.

The study also suggests that the risk of infection is even lower at the start line of events like parkrun than during the event itself. This seems primarily due to the significantly lower breathing rate (pulmonary ventilation rate) of participants prior to the event compared to when running, alongside the relatively short time period participants are gathered together.

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Source: Parkrun