Report: NBA, NBPA closing in on deal to adjust COVID-19 protocols amid massive league-wide surge

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After a massive wave of players landing in the league’s health and safety protocols, the NBA seems to be following the NFL’s lead.

The NBA is nearing an agreement with the NBA Players Association that would lessen the quarantine for players who test positive from 10 days down to six days, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The agreement is not yet finalized, and it’s unclear when it would kick in. Specific details are not yet known.

The NBA is also requiring all teams to host a vaccine booster event by Dec. 31 in an effort to get players, team staff and their families boosted, The Athletic's Shams Charania reports. 

The league agreed earlier this month to ramp testing back up for two weeks, starting on Dec. 26, and required that players and staff wear masks more often. Currently, if a vaccinated player tests positive, he must quarantine for 10 days or provide two negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

The NBA, like the rest of the sports world, has struggled amid a new surge of the coronavirus and the Omicron variant. At least 123 players have entered protocols in December, according to ESPN, and there have been several games postponed due to teams not having enough players to compete. G League players and others are being called up constantly to try and fill rosters, too.

The NBA is about 97% fully vaccinated, and 65% of eligible players have received a booster shot. Commissioner Adam Silver said earlier this week that the league doesn’t have any plans to stop or pause the season, something the NHL did earlier this week.

“We’ve of course looked at all the options, but frankly we’re having trouble coming up with what the logic would be behind pausing right now,” Silver said. “As we look through these cases literally ripping through the country right now, putting aside the rest of the world, I think we’re finding ourselves where we sort of knew we would get to for the last several months, and that is that this virus will not be eradicated and that we have to learn to live with it.”

The NFL, after a league-wide outbreak, adjusted its protocols on Monday that would, among other things, allow fully vaccinated, asymptomatic players to compete even after they’ve tested positive.

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