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How new CDC guidelines could impact NBA players in COVID protocols

The CDC recommended that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should isolate only five days rather than 10. We look at how this could affect the NBA.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the crowd during a ceremony before the game between the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks at the Fiserv Forum on October 19, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The CDC recommended on Monday that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should only isolate five days rather than 10 days. This comes after the new Omicron COVID-19 strain was found as producing lesser symptoms. This could have a major impact on the NBA and how long players will be held out following a positive test. The NBA has been ravaged by players entering health and safety protocols.

With high rate of infection, workers have been forced to isolate longer than needed, which is impact the work force. The same can be said about the NBA. Players have been going into COVID protocols at a pretty rapid rate. Here’s what CDC director Rochelle Walensky told the AP:

“Not all of those cases are going to be severe. In fact many are going to be asymptomatic,” Walensky told The Associated Press on Monday. “We want to make sure there is a mechanism by which we can safely continue to keep society functioning while following the science.”

Woj reported before the CDC report that the NBA will decrease the time a player needs to isolate from 10 days to six days, adding at extra day to what the CDC recommended. Players can still test out of protocols with two negative tests within 24 hours. The NBA has seen 205 players enter H&S protocols this season and 192 of those cases came this month. Numbers continue to grow by the day, with the NBA setting a new single-day high on Sunday with 27 players into protocols.

This news could mean a handful of players in protocols will be able to get out and back to their respective teams. That could speed up the process of players returning to action. We’ll see if this makes an impact in the short-term (Monday’s slate) or long-term (the rest of the week).