The NBA’s fight to “prevent the spread” of the coronavirus amongst their players and staff has just escalated.
As part of their contact tracing protocol, the Association will now require that players and staff wear sensors at all team-organized events away from games.
According to ESPN:
Only Tier 1 and Tier 2 individuals — designations outlined in the league’s health and safety protocols that include players and specific staff members, such as coaches — will be required to wear Kinexon SafeZone contact sensor devices on the team plane, the team bus, during practices and to and from the arena or their home practice facility in connection with team travel, the memo states.
Not wearing the sensors is subject to discipline, but it’s unclear what the discipline might be. Players are not required to wear the sensors during games or at the team hotel when traveling.
A testing period for the program has been in place since December 23.
Contact tracers are coming back to the NBA
Just like in the bubble over the summer, the NBA will reportedly require players and staffers to wear sensors to assist with contact tracing.
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) December 31, 2020
“We’re hopeful that it can also be used not only when there are cases, but proactively to try to reduce contacts even before there are cases,” NBA Senior Vice President David Weiss explained.
The memo states that the sensors will record “the distance and duration of in-person interactions” with others who are wearing a sensor, which the NBA believes will aid in its contact tracing reviews in instances of positive coronavirus cases.