However, that didn’t mean no NBA players contracted coronavirus during the All-Star break. Because the incubation period can last several days, another round of testing was necessary for a more full accounting.
This week’s NBA release on the virus:
Of the 490 players tested for COVID-19 since March 10, three new players have returned confirmed positive tests.
The All-Star break, which ended March 10, was expected to see a major increase in cases as players traveled more freely outside team activities. If just three players contracted coronavirus during the break, that’d be relatively good news.
The actual number might be even lower. These three players could have contracted coronavirus since returning to their teams.
NBA players have had at least 165 cases – and almost certainly many more – of coronavirus.
Hopefully, the NBA’s worst coronavirus issues are in the rearview mirror. The All-Star break was the last apparent big hurdle.
Players are already starting to get vaccinated. As a result, new protocols are being implemented.
Specifically, the changes to the protocols apply to any person who is “two weeks past their final dose and any team where 85% of players and 85% of staff are fully vaccinated,” the memo states.
Fully vaccinated individuals will no longer have to quarantine following exposure to COVID-19; can have friends, family, and others visit at home and on the road without having them test or register with the team’ and can dine outdoors at restaurants, among other eased restrictions.
Fully vaccinated teams will no longer have to wear masks at the practice facility; have more flexibility to leave the team hotel on the road; and can dine indoors or outdoors at restaurants, among other eased restrictions.
Some players are skeptical of the vaccines. But polling has shown people become increasingly willing to get vaccinated as doses near availability. When push comes to shove, many people decide they prefer the increased freedoms afforded by the vaccine to continued restrictions.