NBA to follow CDC guidelines, reduce quarantine times to five days
After negotiations, the NBA and NBPA followed the science and reduced the quarantine period to six days — down from 10 — for players who test positive but are vaccinated and asymptomatic.
Then the CDC did the league one better and reduced its recommended quarantine times for people who test positive for COVID but are asymptomatic to five (followed by five days of wearing a mask). “The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after,” the CDC said in a statement.
The NBA is on board with this and is adapting their protocols to fit, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Sources: The NBA is adopting CDC guidance of five-day isolation exit for coronavirus-positive individuals — outside of team environment. For return to team activities, players must isolate for six days and meet testing requirements, or register two negative tests.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 29, 2021
After five-day isolation, positive players who are masked can now return to their team’s home market via commercial flight, interact in person with individuals in community, and enter indoor settings/establishments that are not the facility. https://t.co/2jYPSnEW64— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 29, 2021
Players will still need negative tests to return to the court.
Positive tests will keep pouring in through the new year as the NBA has increased its testing, and New Year’s Eve events will inevitably prove to be superspreader events. Even Wednesday morning, the Clippers added rookie Brandon Boston to their protocols, and the Heat added P.J. Tucker, Gabe Vincent, and Zylan Cheatham to their list. The cycle of G-League replacement players will continue for a few more weeks at least, although hopefully, it slows a little.
The good news is that according to teams NBC Sports has spoken with, almost every player who tests positive has been asymptomatic, or at most had very mild symptoms. According to the league, about 97% of NBA players are vaccinated, and nearly two-thirds have received a booster shot.