By Tim REIMOLDS, AP Basketball writer
The league told its teams on Saturday that NBA players who test positive for coronovirus this season may have to miss a few weeks to about two weeks.
The revelation was one of several in the 63,000-word document, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, explaining some heath and safety protocols for the looming season. Prescan games begin on December 11 and regular season competition begins on December 22.
The document still needs to be confirmed by the league and the National Basketball Players Association, but it provides some sort of blueprint for the start of training camps, at least in the coming days. All players who will be part of the training camp are required to begin a testing program by Monday – many expected it to begin on Saturday – and teams can conduct mandatory group workouts starting on December 6, The league said. Individual workouts can begin Tuesday, if players have three consecutive negative tests.
In most cases players, coaches and other core staff are required to be tested daily.
In a separate memorandum, the league also told the teams that even with detailed containment and mitigation strategies “there is a possibility that some employees, players and other participants will contract COVID-19 in the 2020-21 season.” The league urged teams to assist team personnel or referees from their home cities to test positive, such as directing them to the isolation location if necessary and while recovering To assist in caring for that person.
“NBA has not put the plan together and we would not have agreed to it if it was not safe,” Utah guard Donovan Mitchell said on Friday. “We did a great job with Bubble and we will do what we think is safe, PA and NBA.”
Mitchell – who tested positive for the virus in the league’s last season on March 11, when Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert was the first NBA player to be contracted to the Covid-19 – also said that he was very serious about the players Is expected to pick up the virus, especially a positive test will almost certainly shore up someone for many games.
“This is not football where you play once a week,” Mitchell said. “We’re playing twice a week, three times, maybe four times, so you have to be careful, you have to be cautious.”
There are two ways by which a player can return to play after a positive coronovirus test: one is a test-based resolution, in which an infected person has at least two consecutive negative PCR test results. The second is a time-based resolution, where a player must set aside, rest, and avoid workouts for at least 10 days and then isolate at least two more days of training. He must also undergo a cardiac screening before returning.
The league is still working with the union on specific protocols for life on the road, saying it wants to find ways to “promote a more controlled environment and reduce non-interactive interactions”. Teams will be urged to work with hotel vendors on best practices, such as use of face-masks and physical disturbances, especially from people who are not part of the team’s travel party – including players, coaches and staff There will be shadow over 45 people. .
It is likely that the league will have teams that will have the specific task of handling the test on the road. Those people – it could be one, it could be two – would not count towards the 45-man travel party clan.
No player or coach tested positive for coronovirus after gaining entry to the NBA’s restart bubble for more than three months of practice and games at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, from mid-October to early July. .
But with bubbles, the risk and risk of positive tests are clearly very high. Worldwide virus figures have been rising in recent weeks, including in many US cities; According to Johns Hopkins University data, the number of new COVID-19 cases in the US reached 205,557 on Friday.
It topped the daily positive test-reported figure for the first time with 200,000 points. Some NBA teams have already stated that they intend to open the season without fans in the stands, among them defending champions Los Angeles Lakers.
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