Like they did with the Walt Disney World bubble, the NBA wants to be ahead of the game in terms of stopping the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the middle of their season.
They were one of the first to shut down operations when the pandemic began, and they’ve been consistently praised for their handling of a difficult situation. Commissioner Adam Silver and other NBA leadership were seen in even higher regard when the MLB and NFL both struggled to contain the virus in any meaningful way.
Both leagues had significant team-wide outbreaks that led to the postponement of many games and teams being forced to play games with major parts of their roster missing.
In another attempt to be as vigilant as possible, the NBA will reportedly begin requiring players and some coaches to wear sensors in order to help with contact tracing in case of positive tests, according to Baxter Holmes of ESPN:
The NBA is planning to roll out an ambitious aspect of its leaguewide contact tracing program by requiring players and many team staffers to wear sensor devices during all team-organized activities outside of games starting Jan. 7, according to a league memo obtained by ESPN. Only Tier 1 and Tier 2 individuals — designations outlined in the league’s health and safety protocols that include players and specific staff members, such as coaches — will be required to wear Kinexon SafeZone contact sensor devices on the team plane, the team bus, during practices and to and from the arena or their home practice facility in connection with team travel, the memo states.
There is no telling how effective this will be, but it does show the league’s willingness to think outside the box and try anything within reason to keep their players safe. A sensor device is something that works better as more people commit to it. If everyone wears one consistently, then it may actually work exactly as hoped.
This will be yet another pandemic related thing to monitor as the 2020-21 season progresses, as several players have already had to miss games due to league health and safety protocols.
Caruso did not test positive for COVID-19
When Alex Caruso was ruled out of the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Portland Trail Blazers due to health and safety protocols, there was concern that he had registered a positive test, keeping him out for upwards of two weeks.
However, an announcement made by the league that there were zero positive tests between Dec. 24 and Dec. 31, assured hat this was not the case, and that Caruso’s absence was more likely due to a close contact.
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