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Coronavirus Notebook

NASCAR race at Loudon postponed until Aug. 2

NASCAR racing will return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, just a little later than originally planned.
NASCAR racing will return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, just a little later than originally planned.Charles Krupa

The Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon was postponed to Aug. 2, NASCAR announced Thursday as part of its revised 2020 schedule, It was originally scheduled for July 19.

Because of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NASCAR said it’s unclear if fans will be allowed access to the rescheduled race.

“Welcoming race fans from across the United States, Canada and around the world to ‘The Magic Mile’ each summer is what our New Hampshire Motor Speedway team looks forward to all year,” said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of NHMS. “We’ll be very disappointed if fans can’t join us, but in these unprecedented times, we understand that the health and safety of our fans, the competitors and our staff is of the utmost importance.”

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Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 ticketholders may choose to receive an event credit for the full amount paid plus an additional 20 percent or choose a full refund. The event credit can be applied toward any admissions.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race was canceled at NHMS for July, however the modifieds will return to Loudon to highlight the third annual Full Throttle Fall Weekend, Sept. 11-12. The event will feature the longest race on the Tour, the Musket 200 presented by Whelen.

IOC talks to insurers about compensation

The International Olympic Committee is in talks with insurers over compensation for the postponed 2020 Tokyo Games.

Olympic operations director Pierre Ducrey says there is “an open discussion” between the IOC and insurance brokers “to try and find the right level of compensation to help us bear the cost of having to wait another year.”

The IOC pays for insurance against the cancellation of an Olympics but it is unclear if its policy covers a one-year postponement.

Cancellation policies detailed in IOC accounts cost $14.4 million for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and $12.8 million for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

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The IOC said last month it set aside $650 million to cover potential extra costs for the postponement.

Costs for organizers in Japan are expected to run to billions of dollars.

MLS teams can resume training

A day after announcing a deal with its players’ association to resume the season with a tournament in Florida, Major League Soccer said teams may resume training.

MLS said each player and staff member must complete two tests for the coronavirus 24 hours apart, 72 hours ahead of the start of training. Every player also must have a test for antibodies and a physical.

Once training starts, players, coaches and some staff must be tested for the virus every other day. An individual who tests positive would be isolated, tested again at least 24 houts later, and all close contacts would be tested. High-risk individuals must be cleared to participate by the team’s chief medical officer in consultation with the MLS medical staff.

Bruce Arena and the Revs can return to the pitch.
Bruce Arena and the Revs can return to the pitch.Stew Milne

Testing for antibodies will take place every three months. Testing providers must be authorized by the FDA or Health Canada.

Training rooms and gyms will be restricted to a maximum five people, and lockers should be spaced a minimum 10 feet apart. Doors should be left open.

Food is restricted to individual, prepackaged meals and individually wrapped utensils, and 10 feet of distancing is necessary while eating.

Staff is to use appropriate personal protective equipment.

As he looked ahead to the planned tournament in Orlando next month for all 26 teams, veteran defender Jeff Larentowicz said he was nervous about the potential dangers.

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“I can tell you they’re taking 2000 people’s lives into their hands and they better have it sorted,’’ Larentowicz said in a Zoom interview. “So it’s on them. We are soccer players and we want to play and it’s their job now to keep us safe.”

Nashville SC defender Daniel Lovitz, Seattle Sounders midfielder Harry Shipp and Portland Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark shared Larentowicz’s worries.

Shipp said team officials are ‘‘kind of fully acknowledging and understanding that not everyone wants to go. And a lot of them aren’t because they don’t want to play soccer, they just don’t want to go. and I think the league has done a good job of calming any risks, like people being nervous about health risks or medical stuff.”

Shipp also said some players are concerned about being away from their families for so long.

Testing for Notre Dame football players

Notre Dame players workout during the team's first spring practice in March. The school said Thursday it will test all its football players for COVID-19 starting June 15.
Notre Dame players workout during the team's first spring practice in March. The school said Thursday it will test all its football players for COVID-19 starting June 15.Santiago Flores/Associated Press

Notre Dame will test all its football players for COVID-19, starting June 15, before they can begin using the school’s athletic facilities for voluntary workouts.

The Fighting Irish players are expected to travel back to campus from June 8-17. Testing for football players and and employees will be conducted June 15-19. Players and employees will be tested for COVID-19 and antibodies for the coronavirus, which would signal previous exposure to the disease.

The phased approach will include quarantines for players returning before they get tested. Players who fly back will be expected to quarantine for seven days before they get tested and those who drive will be expected to quarantine for three days before being tested. Players will be housed at the Morris Inn, an on-campus hotel in South Bend.

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NBA G League canceled

NBA G League canceled the rest of its season. “While canceling the remainder of our season weighs heavily on us, we recognize that it is the most appropriate action to take for our league,” League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim said. The league suspended play March 12 …The NCAA set a new schedule for early entrants to the NBA draft to withdraw and return to school. The NCAA that it would give players until 10 days after the NBA scouting combine or Aug. 3, whichever comes earlier. In a statement, the NCAA said the Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee worked with the National Association of Basketball Coaches on the new timeline and “believes this is the most equitable alternative available in these unprecedented circumstances.” … Central Michigan said it received a waiver from the NCAA regarding the minimum Division I sports sponsorship requirements. Division I schools are not supposed to have fewer than six sports for male athletes. CMU announced last month it was dropping men’s track and field, citing university-wide budget cuts. That leaves the school with five men’s teams — baseball, basketball, cross country, football and wrestling … Seven Arkansas State athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 and are self-isolating for 14 days. Chancellor Kelly Damphousse said the seven athletes are from three sports, and all were asymptomatic. The athletes who tested positive and are living off campus will self-isolate there or at home for 14 days. Those living on campus will self-isolate in their residence hall or at home for 14 days.

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