NBA, NBPA Agree to Adjusted COVID-19 Protocols to Allow Clearance After 5 Days

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 31, 2021

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The NBA and National Basketball Players Association have reportedly agreed to new COVID-19 protocols that will allow players to rejoin their teams more quickly after a positive test.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, a COVID-positive player can now clear isolation in five days rather than the previous requirement of seven provided they have a CT (cycle threshold) value above 30 rather than the previous target number of 35.

Wojnarowski added that the changes are in line with new recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week.

Wojnarowski said that while the NBA's COVID-19 protocols are more flexible than they were previously, they remain more stringent than those imposed by the NFL and NHL.

In recent weeks, there has been a massive uptick in athletes across all sports entering COVID-19 protocols, especially in the NBA.

Per Gilbert McGregor of Sporting News, a total of 132 NBA players were in health and safety protocols as of Tuesday.

That has led to 11 game postponements, as various teams have been unable to meet the requirement of having eight active players at certain points.

Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green, who entered health and safety protocols this week, was critical of the NBA's perceived inconsistency in terms of deciding which games to postpone:

Draymond Green @Money23Green

How do you continue to cancel games when you’ve implemented rules to prevent this from happening? Is that not a competitive advantage for other teams? The guys we didn’t have due to the protocol list played no role in Tuesdays loss? Pick a side but don’t straddle the fence.

Draymond Green @Money23Green

So when the game is rescheduled(which will probably take a day away from our “break”), we wil play them at full strength… But they got to sneak a win when we weren’t at full strength, only two days ago??? Let’s make it make some sense here.

Draymond Green @Money23Green

Not to mention, this will more than likely add a back to back to our schedule, which is also advantage Denver.

Green took issue with the NBA forcing a shorthanded Warriors squad to play against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, resulting in an 89-86 Nuggets win, only for the league to postpone Thursday's Warriors vs. Nuggets game after Denver had a COVID-19 outbreak.

Most teams have been playing with a shell of their usual rosters in recent weeks, leading to a record number of players seeing game action this season.

Now that players can potentially exit health and safety protocols more quickly, however, it may decrease the likelihood of teams being without key players for prolonged periods of time.