NBA extends COVID-19 restrictions for unboosted players amid virus outbreak

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The NBA faces a major outbreak of COVID-19 as the Omicron variant takes hold in the United States.

This meant that the Association had to postpone 11 games in December alone because the teams did not have enough “healthy” players to take to the field.

NBA games postponed due to COVID-19

  • Golden State Warriors at the Denver Nuggets (December 30)
  • Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs (December 29)
  • Brooklyn Nets at Portland Trail Blazers (December 23)
  • Toronto Raptors vs. Chicago Bulls (December 22)
  • Washington Wizards vs. Brooklyn Nets (December 21)
  • Orlando Magic vs. Toronto Raptors (December 20)
  • New Orleans Pelicans vs. Philadelphia 76ers (December 19)
  • Denver Nuggets at the Brooklyn Nets (December 19)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks (December 19)
  • Chicago Bulls vs. Toronto Raptors (December 16)
  • Detroit Pistons vs. Chicago Bulls (December 14)

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All told, over 300 players have been placed in NBA health and safety protocols this season.

The NBA is now taking action. A note sent to Association teams on Thursday evening details an extension of the COVID-19 testing program after the holidays. Said note also concludes that unboosted players will be required to complete daily tests with restrictions on activities also extended during the star break.

“As the Omicron variant continues to operate relentlessly, the NBA is requiring unboosted players to undergo daily COVID testing during the All-Star break in mid-February and restricts these players from attending large indoor gatherings, bars and restaurants. clubs. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday.

Related: Sportsnaut’s Updated NBA Power Rankings

NBA worries about COVID-19 outbreak as Omicron hits league

January 3, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, United States; Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) prepares to take a free kick against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

In an interesting twist, Utah Jazz star center Rudy Gobert entered league protocols on Thursday. As you probably already know, Gobert’s positive test in March 2020 forced the NBA to suspend the 2019-20 season and restart in the Orlando bubble months later.

This season, that has had an impact on the competitive balance across the league. Some of the biggest stars in the NBA have already been placed in protocols this season. This list includes LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Trae Young and Karl-Anthony Towns, among others.

With no end in sight when it comes to the continued influx of COVID-19 cases within the NBA and the United States at large, there is concern that this could have an impact on the season ahead.

While Omicron brings milder symptoms than previous iterations of COVID, the spike in cases should be seen as concerning. On Tuesday alone, the United States recorded a record high of more than 704,000 cases.

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