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NBA begins daily virus testing ahead of 2020-21 campaign

29 November 2020, MVT 10:32
-- AFP PICTURES OF THE YEAR 2020 -- A helicopter flies over a Kobe Bryant mural in downtown Los Angeles on January 26, 2020. - Nine people were killed in the helicopter crash which claimed the life of NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13 year old daughter, Los Angeles officials confirmed on Sunday. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said eight passengers and the pilot of the aircraft died in the accident. The helicopter crashed in foggy weather in the Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas. Authorities said firefighters received a call shortly at 9:47 am about the crash, which caused a brush fire on a hillside. (Photo by Apu GOMES / AFP)
29 November 2020, MVT 10:32

NBA players begin daily Covid-19 tests this weekend ahead of next month's start of the 2020-21 season under health and safety procedures outlined by the league to clubs.

The guide unveiled Saturday details protocols regarding the upcoming campaign, set to start December 22 with pre-season contests opening December 11 and training camps launching next week.

Last season was completed in a bubble at Orlando after being halted in March by the Covid-19 pandemic. This season will see 72 games per club which are to be staged at empty home arenas.

The league is to announce its upcoming season schedule in the next few days.

Individual workouts through Monday will be voluntary, followed by required individual workouts Tuesday through Saturday and required group workouts set for December 6-10.

Among the key provisions of the protocols, which mention no criteria that might cause the NBA to suspend the season, were a small number of cases or independent Covid-19 positives not requiring a season shutdown.

Anyone testing positive can return to work by going 10 or more days after the first positive test or onset of symptoms or produce two negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

Any player who tests positive, even if without symptoms, must wait 10 days and then be monitored in solo workouts for two more days before returning to the team.

An anonymous tip line will be established to report possible safety protocol violations, something that was also used in the Orlando bubble.

Team travel parties will be limited to 45 people, 17 of them players, as they visit arenas across the nation.

New York, United States | AFP