The NBA has updated its health and safety protocols more than two weeks after it initially enacted stricter guidelines amid a surge of COVID-19 complications, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.
On Jan. 12, the league announced that players and team staff would largely be required to remain at their homes, except for attending team or essential activities, and could not leave the hotel when on the road. Those policies will remain in effect until at least Feb. 10, Charania said Wednesday.
In addition, multiple revisions were made to the policies that affect individuals who come into contact with players on a regular basis.
Per Charania, team members on the road are allowed to accept visits from four family members and friends who live in that city. Those individuals must be registered and test negative for COVID-19 twice, then take PCR tests during and after their visit.
Charania also reported players, coaches and team staff can exercise outside for up to one hour per day and must return to their hotel by 6 p.m.
At home, anyone who regularly visits the home of a Tier 1 or Tier 2 individual "must undergo testing twice a week."
The NBA's COVID-19 numbers are down this week compared to earlier this month. On Wednesday, the league announced just one new positive test for the virus since Jan. 20, compared to 11 players in the week before and 16 players in the first week of January.
As of Wednesday, 23 games had been postponed, with some teams more affected than others. The Memphis Grizzlies, who are currently dealing with issues related to the virus, and Washington Wizards each had six games moved, and both had played just 13 games this season entering Wednesday. The league rescheduled two postponements for February, while a third game originally scheduled for next month has been moved to the second half of the season.
The league will release the second half of the 2020-21 schedule in the coming weeks ahead of the March 11 start date. The regular season is scheduled to end May 16, followed by a play-in tournament ahead of the playoffs, which begin May 22.