Four NBA games have been postponed, two involving the Boston Celtics, since Sunday due to COVID-19.
Now, the league is making more changes to its health and safety protocols as cases of the virus continue to rise across the league.
For at least the next two weeks, players and staff must stay home at all times except for team-related activities, outdoor workouts or essential activities (including emergencies) during homestands, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Anyone regularly entering a player or staff member’s household “for professional purposes” must be tested twice a week.
On the road, players and staff will not be permitted to leave hotels for non-team activities except for emergencies, per Woj’s report. Visitors will not be allowed in hotel rooms and players and staff must not interact with non-team guests.
Things apparently will be a bit different on game day, too, especially in the next two weeks.
Pregame meetings in team lockers rooms will be limited to 10 minutes and all attendees must wear masks. Players will be required to wear masks on the sideline except for when sitting in “cool down chairs” that are 12 feet away from the bench and six feet apart.
NBPA executive director Michele Roberts knows additional restrictions are not ideal, but is wary of the threat COVID-19 poses to the NBA’s season.
“No one wants to see more restrictions imposed. No one also wants to see the infection rate increase if there are steps we can take to mitigate the risk,” Roberts said, via ESPN. “Our experts have concluded that these new procedures will add to our arsenal of weapons against the virus. … It would be irresponsible and unacceptable to not employ new measures aimed at better promoting and protecting our players’ safety.”
Hopefully, these changes will prevent more from being moved.