The NBA released its health and safety protocols for the season resumption on Tuesday.
What We Know:
- The 113-page document details everything from COVID-19 testing to player entertainment. According to the NBA, they created the protocols based on CDC guidance and medical experts reviewed the document. The first page of the document states “The core health practices relied upon in these protocols are physical distancing and use of face coverings, hand and respiratory hygiene, reduced use of shared objects and spaces, rigorous cleaning and disinfection procedures, and regular health monitoring and diagnostic testing”.
- The document outlines protocols for coronavirus testing and what happens in the event of a positive test result. Starting June 23, every player and essential staff member will take a PCR COVID-19 test every other day. If a player tests positive for COVID-19, they will self-isolate and be retested for confirmation. The player will stay in isolation housing, receive medical treatment for fourteen days. During that time, they will not be allowed to train or participate in any basketball-related activities. The league will not shut down if there are positive tests.
- The social distancing protocols are very strict. The league will also experiment with wearable technology. Staff could wear monitors which set off an alarm if they are within six feet of another person for more than five seconds. Players could wear rings which monitor body vitals and indicate their risk for infection. Players will not be allowed to go into each others rooms. The NBA will also introduce an anonymous tip line where people can report violations. If rules aren’t followed, players could face warnings, fines, suspensions, or even removal from the campus.
- Players will have entertainment and amenities in the form of video games, pools, barbers, movie screenings, DJ sets, and more. The document specifically notes restrictions on playing cards and ping pong: players must dispose of card decks after one use and only two players are allowed to play ping pong at a time.
While players and staff are waiting for the next few weeks to travel to Orlando, they are required to quarantine at home and practice social distancing. A notable exception to their stay-at-home order is that they are allowed to engage in protests.