NBA to Players: Avoid Hi-Fiving Fans as Coronavirus Spreads

by March 03, 2020
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The NBA issued a memo advising players to refrain from giving hi-fives to fans and strangers, in addition to no longer taking items for autographs during the coronavirus crisis.

In all, the League has ten recommendations for its workforce in the hope of decreasing risks of getting the virus.

The global death toll topped 3,000 on Monday, with infection numbers rising to about 89,000 in 70 countries.

Per The AP and ESPN:

“We are also in regular communication with each other, NBA teams including team physicians and athletic trainers, other professional sports leagues, and of course, many of you,” the league wrote in its memo to teams, their physicians and athletic training staffs.

The NBA also told teams that it is consulting “with infectious disease experts, including the Centers for Disease Control” and infectious disease researchers at Columbia University in New York.

“The coronavirus remains a situation with the potential to change rapidly — the NBA and the Players Association will continue to work with leading experts and team physicians to provide up-to-date information and recommended practices that should be followed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” the league said in the memo.

As the number of cases in North America starts to increase, there’s been no impact in terms of curbing of league travel or games. An NBA player who contracted the coronavirus would expect to miss two weeks, one team medical official told ESPN. NBA front offices are preparing for scouting events such as the global Hoop Summit in Portland, Oregon, in April, and the NBA draft combine in Chicago in May, events that host of hundreds of players, coaches, front office personnel and medical staff.