You may witness more fist-bumps instead of the customary high-fives that NBA players usually give their fans at games. According to the Associated Press, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is advising players to avoid high-fiving their fans due to the current coronavirus outbreak.
In wake of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, NBA officials have advised players to restrict physical contact with fans to limit potential exposure to coronavirus, according to a league memo sent to the players. The NBA has also advised their players to limit signing autographs as well. There are currently 102 cases of the novel coronavirus nationwide, according to federal and state health officials.
“The coronavirus remains a situation with the potential to change rapidly—the NBA and the Players Association will continue to work with leading experts and team physicians to provide up-to-date information and recommended practices that should be followed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” the league said in the memo.
The NBA and National Basketball Players Association have been consulting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and infectious-disease experts, including a renowned researcher at Columbia University, the memo said.
“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 also wrote in its memo to teams, their physicians and athletic training staffs.
Portland guard CJ McCollum has already taken the advice.
The Corona Virus has officially hit Oregon. 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.
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) February 29, 2020
“You just have to be careful,” McCollum said Monday night in Orlando. “Obviously it’s affecting people, especially people who are displaying weaker immune systems and people over 60. You’ve got to check yourself and wash your hands, try to reduce contact with outsiders and outside germs.”