NBA continues to ramp up preparation for coronavirus spread

The NBA in an internal coronavirus memo sent on Saturday instructed teams to have an arrangement with an infectious disease specialist, identify a facility that can conduct testing for COVID-19, create a plan to limit the number of team and arena staff who have close contact with players and have a process to distribute hand sanitizer to players and team staff.

The league has been in regular contact with teams via memos, including one Friday telling teams they should be developing a plan and identifying actions required "if it were to become necessary to play a game with only essential staff present (i.e., without admitting fans, media, and/or other typical attendees)."

As coronavirus cases in the United States and elsewhere grow, the league told teams, "we continue to closely monitor this situation and are having regular conversations with infectious disease and public health experts, including the CDC."

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The NBA will also conduct a conference call with team physicians and athletic trainers on Monday to provide further updates.

The league continues to be proactive behind the scenes and wants visiting teams also to have a plan in place, including a connection with a local infectious disease doctor and a facility for conducting COVID-19 testing. Also, the league wants each team to ensure players and staffers who have close contact with players brought the memo home and shared the document with anyone who lives in the household.

In the memo, the NBA wants teams to have these plans in place by the end of the day on Tuesday.

It was also suggested that teams reduce the number of traveling staff, have a team physician on at least one road game/trip to review and ID ways to further reduce exposure to germs and work with travel-related vendors, such as buses, hotels and food services to "understand their cleaning/sanitization practices and to have plans in place regarding vendor employees who may be ill, including efforts to minimize such vendor employee contact with players."

Follow Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt.

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