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NBA releases Health and Safety Protocol Guide for 2020-2021 season

NBA releases Health and Safety Protocol Guide As the NBA opens training camps and released the preseason schedule in recent days, it has also released a formal 134-page Health and Safety Protocol guide, similar to what was presented by the league and the NBAPA for the Orlando Bubble a few months ago, with the purpose of making very clear what the Covid-19 protocols will be for the new, 2020-2021 season.

There are important differences this season, compared to the Orlando Bubble, which was a complete success, Covid-19 wise. The most important one so far is the fact that there will be no bubble this season, at least not for the regular season, but each team will play home and visit games, 72 in total.

A major goal for the league is to be able to have fans back at the different arenas in 2021, however, that will be up to the pandemic and each state’s regulations, it’s not a short term issue, considering that, contrary to others like MLB or NFL, NBA is played indoors, and that makes a huge difference protocol wise.


So, teams will be able to play at home this season, but no fans, at least to start. This brings a big issue to the table, the bubble was 100% controlled, and that’s why there were 0 Covid-19 cases, but now it’s different, and the league needs to make sure to take enough precautions to ensure player and staff safety throughout the season.

What does the NBA Health and Safety Protocol Guide say?

It’s a long and detailed document, as you can imagine, after all, it’s 134 pages long. However, it can be summarized in two main parts, or two possible routes to return to action after any player tests positive for Covid: a “time-based resolution” and a “test-based resolution”.

Time-based resolution

What this says, basically, is that if a player or staff member is infected, they will have to go inactive and in quarantine for at least 10 days after their first positive test or the first symptoms. Also, that person must go clear at least 24 hours since their fever goes away without the use of any medication, to prove that the virus is gone, before one final confirmation test.

Test-based resolution

Under this path, the person who gets infected with the virus must be able to deliver at least two back-to-back negative tests taken at least 24 hours apart.

While infected, the person will not be allowed to train for at least 10 days from the day they tested positive or presented their first symptoms. After waiting these long 10 days the person will be allowed to work out by themselves for two days, not being allowed to interact with any team member at all, wearing a mask at all times while in the team’s facility and at the same time, undergoing a few other physical tests. This means that the person will miss at least 12 days before being able to return to their next game.

What do you think of these rules? The NBA Bubble proved to be a massive success, let’s hope that the league can achieve the same results, or at least similar, during the 2020-2021 season.

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