While many pickleball tournaments are starting to cancel and are rescheduling for later dates, it's important for players remaining on the pickleball court to take precautionary steps. The best way to protect yourself and others is to reduce exposure to the virus. Following the steps below will help keep everyone on and off the pickleball courts as healthy as possible.
Wash Your Hands
A player should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before entering the pickleball court and again after leaving the court. When washing, it is important for everyone to scrube between their fingers and under their nails as well as their palms and backs of their hands. If soap and water is not readily accessible, appropriate alternatives include hand sanitizer or wipes made with at least 60% alcohol.
Clean Your Equipment
In addition to washing your hands, it is also important to clean your pickleball equipment before and after a game. This includes using an all-purpose cleaning spray or wipe to disinfect balls and paddles. You should also launder your active wear after each day and wipe down your shoes with a disinfectant wipe.
If you feel sick, stay at home, even if your symptoms are only mild. It is also recommended to stay at home if you are at higher risk of infection. This includes those with compromised immune systems or other underlying health conditions, as well as those over 65 years old. When playing, avoid hand shakes, fist pumps, and paddle taps. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose at all times. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and immediately wash your hands or use sanitizer, or cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow. Current recommendations from officials such as the CDC state if you are not sick you do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick and they are unable to wear a mask.
If You Believe You May Have COVID-19
Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and cases can range from mild to severe. The symptoms appear within 2 to 14 days following exposure to the virus. If you believe you have been exposed and are displaying symptoms, it is recommended to self-isolate and contact your primary doctor for specific instructions in your area. If you experience emergency warning signs of COVID-19, which include difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, confusion, or bluish lips/face, seek emergency medical care.