The NBA has been working hard to keep the basketball season going in the midst of the COVID-19 spike. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the league and the NBA Players Association are “nearing an agreement” to shorten the quarantine period for players who have tested positive for the virus.
Currently, COVID-19 positive players must isolate themselves for 10 days before they are cleared to return to the court. Following consultations with infectious disease specialists and research on the UK’s response to Coronavirus cases, the NBA and NBPA are hoping to lessen the required time to six days. No further updates have been announced.
As of now, nearly 97% of the NBA are fully vaccinated, with 65% of the league having already received a booster shot. Starting Sunday, Dec. 26, vaccinated and unvaccinated players and staff will be tested for COVID-19 on game days and must wear masks on the bench, in the venues and while they are traveling. Those who recently recovered from the virus or were “boosted” at least two weeks before the scheduled game will be exempt from the tests.
With hopes to reduce the number of cases, each NBA team will also be required to host a booster shot event before the New Year. Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, COVID-19 boosters “will be made available for eligible players, staff, and their families.”
The aforementioned precautions are being made to ensure that the NBA remains safe as Commissioner Adam Silver has no plans to stop the season.
“We’ve of course looked at all the options, but frankly we’re having trouble coming up with what the logic would be behind pausing right now,” he previously said. “As we look through these cases literally ripping through the country right now, putting aside the rest of the world, I think we’re finding ourselves where we sort of knew we would get to for the last several months, and that is that this virus will not be eradicated and that we have to learn to live with it.”