The NBA delayed the possible reopening date of some teams’ training facilities by at least a week, until May 8, by reporting Monday that additional time was needed, in part, to ensure that practice options for Players would be safe and controlled in an attempt to mitigate the threats posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
And once those facilities are reopened, it will be under very strict rules.
The May 8 date is far from confirmed, the NBA said, warning teams that “it could postpone the date if the situation warrants it.” The league planned to give teams the option to reopen their facilities even on Friday, although it ultimately decided it needed more time for many reasons.
But once the training grounds are reopened – local government permission will first be required in all cases – it will not mean an immediate return to normal. A person with knowledge of the league’s plans reported that players should wear face masks inside the facility, unless they are training, and that any staff member present should wear face masks and gloves, in addition to requiring a minimum distance of 12 feet between players and staff members training with them.
The exception to the distancing rule will apply when there are medical or athletic personnel in contact with the players. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details have yet to be released.
There are several other details in the protocols for reopening league facilities, the person reported, including:
– Players who return to their team after being out of town must be quarantined before they are allowed to enter the facility.
– All equipment used by players in their voluntary training, including balls, must be disinfected before they can be used again. Players will not be allowed to share towels and the teams are prohibited from making steam rooms, saunas, tubs, oxygen or cryotherapy chambers available within the facilities.
– Teams should assign a staff member as a “Hygiene Officer” to supervise the new measures. Players will have to enter the venue unaccompanied, including family, friends, or personal security.
– All cell phones, keys and common contact objects must be cleaned and disinfected when entering the facilities.