Dec 28, 2021 - Sports

NBA cuts isolation time for some players who test positive for COVID Arena Arena. Photo: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

NBA players and coaches who test positive for COVID-19 will now only have to isolate for six days instead of 10, so long as they are asymptomatic and meet other testing requirements, according to a memo seen by Axios.

Why it matters: The update comes as the league sees a surge in players and coaches entering safety protocols due to positive COVID-19 tests, per ESPN, which first reported the new isolation period.

  • At least 120 players and four coaches were in health and safety protocols as of Monday afternoon, ESPN reported.
  • The surge in new cases comes despite 97% of NBA players being vaccinated and at least 65% of eligible players being boosted against COVID-19, according to AP.

The big picture: The teams were informed about the updated protocols, agreed on by the NBA and players' union, in the memo sent on Monday.

  • The NBA said in the memo that the new protocols "reflects analysis of testing data that the league and its infectious disease experts and epidemiologists have gathered throughout the pandemic."
  • The memo also came on the same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shortened its recommended isolation time for people who test positive for COVID-19 from 10 days to five days if they're asymptomatic.
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