New health protocols

NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - December 2, 2020 - 12:00am

Training camp just opened and pre-season games are to begin on December 11 and run up to the 19th.  Here are some preseason games to watch on ESPN:

•Dec 11   Sacramento vs Portland

•Dec 13   LA Clippers vs LA Lakers

•Dec 17   Golden State vs Sacramento

•Dec 18   Brooklyn vs Boston

•Dec 18   LA Lakers vs Phoenix

Three days later, the 2020-2021 NBA season begins and games will not be in a secured bubble, but rather, teams will have their games in their home markets.  This means travelling around the US and exposure to crowds.  With the end of Covid nowhere in sight and cases in the mainland rising, infections are a big possibility.  Players could be exposed to someone with the virus.

Assuming that players and team staff could be infected at duration of the season, the NBA had updated their Covid infection protocols for players returning to play after getting a positive test.  They will still be tested daily but will be stricter with their protocols.

•If exposed to someone with the virus, a player will not be allowed entry to team facilities, participate in practices or interact with other players and team staff until examined by team doctors

•Must be isolated for at least 12 days after their positive test or had not shown any symptoms

•Is asymptomatic and no concerns of reinfection

•Had been cleared by the team doctor to return to play

•Team doctors had reviewed the case with league doctors with no objections

As to travel, the maximum personnel allowed on a team is 45.  Players and staff are then prohibited to use public facilities in hotels unless it is reserved exclusively for the team’s use only.

Like in the Orlando bubble, the NBA will again have the hotline for anybody to anonymously report to the league office any violations on the updated health protocols.

Dec 22 to Mar 4 will be the first half of the 2020-2021 Season and will have a 5-day break without the All-Star Weekend.  The second half of the season resumes on Mar 11 until May 16.  Play-in tournament will be on May 13 to 21 with playoffs to begin the following day until July 22.

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