It’s wild to think that just a few years ago, the entire NBA season was thrown into complete disarray because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To be fair, the entire world was also thrown into disarray because of the virus so the league wasn’t exempt from the truly unprecedented situation.
For a long time, the virus caused many issues within the NBA, even after the vaccine started to roll out.
There were countless instances of players having to miss games because they contracted the virus and we couldn’t go a few days without a team suffering absences because of COVID.
NBA’s Health and Safety COVID-19 Protocols for 2022-23 season, per sources:
– Once-weekly surveillance testing for unvaccinated players
– Vaccinated players only test when symptomatic
– Isolation immediately upon positive test
– Face masks not required
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 30, 2022
The virus still exists and thousands of people catch it daily and the NBA is aware of that.
Yet, the game goes on.
In the new 2022-23 season, the NBA’s Health and Safety COVID-19 Protocols state that there will be once-weekly “surveillance testing” for unvaccinated players, as well as testing for vaccinated athletes who show symptoms.
Meanwhile, players who test positive will be forced to isolate themselves immediately, and face masks will not be required.
A lot about COVID in the NBA has changed but a lot has not.
The vast majority of NBA players have received their COVID vaccines and therefore the virus isn’t as much a threat to them.
But COVID can still spread among vaccinated people and when this happens, the league will require they sit out until they’re better.
We aren’t really sure how it will affect the upcoming season.
As the previous season went on and the vaccine was taken by more people, it became less and less of an issue: fewer players in the league got sick and, when they did, they bounced back quickly.
The new protocols remind us that COVID is not gone but the NBA has learned to live with it and handle it.