The NBA is preparing for the possibility of playing games without fans and media in attendance because of the coronavirus outbreak, according to reports from Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium and The New York Times’ Marc Stein.
Sources: The NBA has sent a memo to its franchises explaining that, due to coronavirus outbreak, teams should be preparing to play games without fans in attendance and identifying “essential staff” present for these games -- should it be necessary.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 7, 2020
Stein reports that the league has asked teams to begin developing “contingency plans.”
Among the measures that the NBA wants its teams to start preparing for is the possibility --- if the situation worsens --- for instituting "temperature checks" on various players, team staff members, referees and anyone else deemed "essential" to stage a game in such conditions— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 7, 2020
It does not appear as if the league is planning to play any games under these conditions imminently.
On Friday, the first two cases of coronavirus in Pennsylvania were recorded as residents of Delaware County and Wayne County tested positive locally for the virus. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued a disaster declaration.
“First and foremost, we want all Pennsylvanians to be safe and remain healthy and follow the practical advice of the Department of Health on ways to protect yourself from any virus and that’s by washing hands, covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough and staying home if you are sick,” Wolf said in a press release.
According to NBC News, more than 3,400 people have died worldwide from coronavirus since the start of January, with 14 deaths from the virus in the United States and more than 225 confirmed cases in the country.
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