In response to an increase in coronavirus infections that has resulted in numerous teams losing its top players, the National Basketball Association has changed its coronavirus guidelines to enable players and coaches who have tested positive but are asymptomatic to return to their teams sooner.
According to a document acquired by The New York Times, the new guidelines will also allow people with low viral levels to follow this new strategy, even if they still test positive, according to the new standards.
In the event that players or coaches have positive or inconclusive tests, they will be allowed to return to the field after six days in isolation, rather than 10 days, provided they are asymptomatic and fulfil the conditions for infectiousness testing.
Players and coaches may also emerge from isolation using one of the two techniques described above — by isolating for 10 days and without experiencing symptoms, or by returning two negative tests within 24 hours of each other — as described above.
The N.B.A.’s decision coincided with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s proposal on Monday that isolation durations be decreased from 10 days to five days for persons who do not have symptoms.
In the month of December alone, more than 100 players entered the league’s health and safety processes, which were prompted by a positive or inconclusive coronavirus test, or a probable exposure, as the Omicron variety spread across the league. Following Thanksgiving, the league enhanced testing for several days, which resulted in an increase in cases. The league will now begin another phase of intensified testing following Christmas Day, which will last for several days.
Because of the coronavirus procedures, some teams have been forced to participate without numerous crucial players. The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day despite the fact that they were missing seven players due to the rules, including Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Giannis Antetokounmpo, the standout forward for the Milwaukee Bucks, missed five games while undergoing treatment, but was cleared just in time for his team’s Christmas game.
Also on Monday, the Atlantic Coast Conference, one of college athletics’ Power 5 conferences, revealed that it has introduced two alternatives to shorten isolation for persons who have been vaccinated.