The NBA has talked to leading health officials as concerns about the coronavirus continue to grow, according to Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press. With a month and a half left in the regular season, there are no plans to alter the schedule, but league officials are working with the Centers for Disease Control and are keeping a close watch on the situation.
“The health and safety of our employees, teams, players and fans is paramount,” the NBA said in a statement released Saturday. “We are coordinating with our teams and consulting with the CDC and infectious disease specialists on the coronavirus and continue to monitor the situation closely.”
As the disease spreads across the globe, more than 85,000 people have been affected, with 2,900 reported deaths. There have been 62 cases in the United States, which reported its first fatality from the disease yesterday.
“The Corona Virus has officially hit Oregon,” he wrote. “More specifically Lake Oswego…Make sure y’all washing y’all hands with soap for 20 or more seconds & covering ya mouths when you cough. I am officially taking a break from signing autographs until further notice.”
Internationally, the impact of the virus on the game is leading to extreme measures:
- In China, where the virus originated, the CBA has suspended play and there has been no word on whether the season will resume.
- Tuesday’s scheduled EuroLeague game between Olimipia Milano and Real Madrid will be played in a closed setting with no fans or media permitted to attend, tweets Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Similar measures will also be taken for this week’s contest between Asvel and Valencia (Twitter link) and a EuroCup game between Brescia and Venezia (Twitter link).
- Turkey has suspended all flights to Italy, which has 1,128 reported cases of the virus. An important EuroCup clash set for Wednesday in Istanbul between Virtus Bologna and Darussafaka is now in jeopardy (Twitter link).