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You've heard of the 'sports bubble' but do you know how it works?

The idea sounds simple: create a bubble to play sports in and keep the coronavirus out.

ORLANDO, Fla. — When the games stopped and the courts were emptied, no one knew if or when professional sports were going to return.

Then, the NBA had an interesting idea: separate your players and teams from the rest of the world. Basically to create a sports bubble. It's an experiment, but so far it's paid off.

RELATED: NBA suspending season over coronavirus concerns

How exactly does the bubble work though? There are a lot of procedures in place to make sure the bubble doesn't burst. In the NBA's case, there are 132 pages of safeguards.

Doctor Jason Wilson from Tampa General Hospital said this plan wasn't thrown together overnight.

"The NBA's actually had quite a bit of thought process behind this in terms of the lead-in," said Dr. Wilson. "You got to make sure that people are sort of pre-screened, that people come into the bubble essentially viral free"

"If there's not high transmission going on between people, there's not much the virus can do, right? It relies on us to transmit the virus and to help the virus reproduce and propagate and make more viruses. And, if we're not helping the virus do that, then the virus has no business being there."

The bubble idea is working for the NBA, so could we apply that to towns or even states?

"Here's the simple truth," said Dr. Wilson. "I don't know if it'll work and we don't know if it's gonna work because we haven't done this really before."

One of the big differences Dr. Wilson pointed out, was the NBA has created an environment without social stress. Players don't need to leave the bubble for work or food, it's all provided. That same scenario can't be created in a community.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

Dr. Wilson also said a bubble could work in smaller towns where the virus is not spreading but in a big metropolitan city or state, it's not possible.


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