NBA Players Free To Travel While Practice Facilities Close

Mar 19, 2020, 12:26 PM
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell talks to members of the media at the Zions Bank Basketball Center ...
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell talks to members of the media at the Zions Bank Basketball Center (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – NBA players are once again free to travel within the United States according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. League players had been asked to remain in their team’s host cities in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak that has sidelined professional sports stars across the spectrum.

After suspending play last Wednesday night, players were flown back to their host cities where they were asked to remain until provided further instruction by the NBA. Those guidelines have changed in the week since, allowing players to reunite with family members amid the pandemic.

Including Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, the first player to test positive for COVID-19, the NBA has had seven known cases of players contracting the virus including Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, Detroit Pistons big man Christian Wood, and four Brooklyn Nets players, highlighted by superstar Kevin Durant.

The NBA has encouraged teams to check in on a daily basis with their players regardless of where they reside, and the league has reportedly asked for updates on where the players are traveling.

Mitchell is one player who has not remained in his host city since news of his positive test was made public. In a Twitch.tv stream with fellow NBA players on Wednesday, the Jazz guard indicated that he was back home, and wished Utahns well who had experienced an earthquake earlier in the day.

Practice Facilities Closed 

While the NBA has prohibited any group activities during the hiatus, team practice facilities were allowed to remain open for players to work on their games individually, or in one on one coaching situations. However, according to ESPN, practice facilities will soon be closed to all team members.

As of Friday, team facilities will close down league-wide.

“As much as franchises wanted players to have an outlet to come get work in,” Wojnarowski tweeted, “teams and league were uneasy about contact even in that limited environment.”

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How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

The CDC does not recommend wearing a facemask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.

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