The NBA and NBPA have agreed to change their health and safety protocols for isolation after a player tested positive for COVID-19, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Players will now be able to remove Isolation after five days if their CT (Cycle Threshold) value is greater than 30. This is a change from the previous standard, which was seven days and a value TC greater than 35. This is just the latest change to the protocols, which were designed to be flexible and have been changed several times recently.
Recent data suggests that fully vaccinated people who received a booster shot clear the virus from their systems faster than originally intended. NBA players are around 97% vaccinated and 65% boosted, according to the most recent report. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver admitted last week that the league was considering a change in an interview with Malika Andrews on ESPN’s “NBA Today”.
“We always measure viral loads with our PCR tests, it’s part of the protocol,” said Silver. “And so that’s something… not just our doctors, but the medical community is watching. First, I think they’re already realizing that you can get away from the 10-day protocol when you have players vaccinated and boosted. It seems that the virus passes through their systems faster. They not only become asymptomatic, but, more importantly, they no longer spread the virus. This is the real concern, in terms of (spreading the virus to) others. actively seek to shorten the number of days a player is absent before they can return to the pitch. “
Many NBA players have been asymptomatic or exhibited only mild symptoms amid this current league-wide outbreak. Previous league protocols explained this to some extent, as players with moderate to severe symptoms could not exercise for 10 days after the onset of these symptoms, while less severe symptoms only called for ‘A seven-day break from exercise and asymptomatic players could exercise after just three days, but the quarantine period was the same for all positive tests. This is about to change.
Many teams have been forced to rely on recently signed players with hardship waivers to play a serious role for them on the pitch. A faster quarantine period will hopefully allow teams to form appropriate teams and avoid postponements.