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Conflicting Reports Surround Rules for Disney Employees in NBA Restart Bubble

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 12, 2020

In this Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020 photo, Mickey and Minnie Mouse perform during a parade as they pass by the Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Disney employees will have to take some precautions but reportedly won't be required to follow the same protocols as NBA players in the league's effort to restart its 2019-20 season at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press reported that Disney personnel will be required to wear personal protective equipment at all times:

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds

Per source, Disney personnel on-site for NBA restart will all be in PPE (masks, gloves where appropriate) at all times. They'll also undergo daily screening, including temperature checks. Also: hotel workers will be assigned certain areas and won't rotate thru properties.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium added:

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

Sources: Protocols for Disney staff working NBA return site: - Always wearing facemasks/gloves - Strict physical distancing, never within 6 feet of NBA participant - Temperature/symptom checks - Housekeeping staff will never be in the room at same time as NBA participants

However, Eric Clinton, president of Disney's United Here Local 362 union, told NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh it's "unlikely" the workers will be subject to daily testing and other quarantine measures.

"This isn't a bubble. This is a mesh hat," an NBA executive told Haberstroh.

Yahoo Sports' Keith Smith received statements from Disney World sources in response to the report:

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA

Walt Disney World sources: "It's disappointing that so many are willingly speaking on the record, knowing that we are far from the finish line on how this will work. We have many, many details to still work out. Nothing has been finalized yet." https://t.co/2MBDqIV5RS

"So...there isn't a bubble," New Orleans Pelicans guard JJ Redick wrote on Twitter in response to Haberstroh's report.

Utah Jazz teammates Jordan Clarkson and Joe Ingles commented as well:

Joe Ingles @Joeingles7

@JordanClarksons @jj_redick @Ballislife Bubble with a couple holes in it 😂

The Pelicans and Jazz are among the 22 NBA teams scheduled to congregate at Disney World for an eight-game finish to the shortened regular season. The No. 8 and No. 9 seeds in each conference may then compete in a play-in tournament to determine the final playoff teams, followed by a standard postseason as part of the league's restart plans.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday some NBA players are hesitant to take part in the plan for a variety of reasons, including an estimated seven-week period where their families couldn't visit and the ongoing social injustice protests around the country along with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In turn, the NBA and the players association are working toward a plan that would "allow players to stay home without consequences," per Wojnarowski.

The league provided further details about its provisional schedule Friday. Teams will begin individual workouts at team facilities July 1 before traveling to Disney the following week.

Play is slated to resume July 30, followed by the possible play-in tournaments Aug. 15 and 16. The playoffs would then start Aug. 17.

The latest potential end date for the 2020 NBA Finals is Oct. 13.

All of those dates are "considered tentative until the health protocols are done and agreements with Disney are signed," per the Associated Press.

The NBA season was halted March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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