The NBA has told teams avoid high-fiving fans and strangers and avoid taking any item for autographs, the league’s latest response in its ongoing monitoring of the coronavirus crisis that has spread to most corners of the planet.
The league, in a memo obtained by The Associated Press, offered 10 recommendations to players with hopes of decreasing risks of getting the virus — among them, not taking items such as pens, markers, balls and jerseys from autograph-seekers.
The NBA also told teams that it is consulting “with infectious disease experts, including the Centers for Disease Control” and infectious disease researchers at Columbia University in New York.
“We are also in regular communication with each other, NBA teams including team physicians and athletic trainers, other professional sports leagues, and of course, many of you,” the league wrote in its memo to teams, their physicians and athletic training staffs.
Many of the tips offered by the NBA fell under common-sense level of best practices when it comes to illness prevention: avoiding contact with people who are sick, staying home when feeling ill, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
The league also suggested players make sure they “are up to date with all routine vaccinations, including the flu vaccine.”
The worldwide death toll has topped 3,000, and the number of those infected rose to about 89,000 in 70 countries on every continent but Antarctica. In the US, the virus has been blamed for six deaths, all in Washington state.
“Containment is feasible and must remain the top priority for all countries,” World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.