NBA refuses to set standard postponement protocol for COVID-19 outbreaks
At the moment, the NBA is not planning on issuing an overarching, standard protocol for postponed games due to COVID-19 outbreaks, according to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes.
“While the NBA expects positive COVID-19 cases throughout the 2020-21 season … there isn’t a specific number of positive cases or a precise scenario that could cause a game to be canceled or postponed,” Holmes writes.
Instead, the league will deal with outbreaks on a case-by-case basis, and consult with league and team health officials to determine the best course of action when players and team personnel test positive.
“For instance, teams could have a similar number of positive COVID-19 cases but differing circumstances for the total, such as potential spread in a facility or isolated cases at home, leading to the NBA’s reluctance to create a fixed number that would lead to play being suspended on a given night,” Holmes notes.
Whether certain games take place, get rescheduled, or are forced to relocate will be partially determined by state and local governments, depending on the coronavirus restrictions in various cities when potential issues arise.
“The NBA and teams are monitoring any possible restrictions that could affect play, including the possibility of quarantine periods in specific markets for those who have been traveling from out of state.”
Per the league’s updated healthy and safety protocols, a player will be sidelined for at least 12 days should he test positive, and other specific steps will be determined based on his symptoms (or lack thereof).
After an initial wave of testing in November, 48 of 546 players tested positive, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association announced.
The 2020-21 NBA regular season is set to begin on Tuesday, Dec. 22.