NBA 2020-21 season: Schedule, COVID-19 protocols, and things to make clear (part 1)

The NBA 2020-21 season will start on December 22 following an abbreviated offseason, which saw the draft and the free agency starting compressed into the same week, with several uncertainty.

Amid the context of COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA is facing decisions about how to undertake a regular-season campaign outside the relative security of a bubble. Last week, the league announced a 134-page health and safety protocol guide. However, there remain several concerns to be addressed.

Here’s what we know and don’t know about how the upcoming NBA season.

What happens if there is any player testing positive for COVID-19?

When a player tests positive for the disease, he will be required to go through a series of steps before being allowed to play again.

If a player is unreasonable, he or she must stay for ten days from his or her first test, then pass a cardiac screen, and then sit alone in a team center for two more days before he or she can return to full team activities.

If a player has a token, he or she must stay for ten days from the time the marks go down, and then follow the same steps as for players without signs.

If a player receives a serious case of COVID-19, he or she will have to work alone for 3 days before being fired in order to be allowed to return to team activities, assuming that everything is tested.

In general, fans can expect that if a player tests for coronavirus, he or she will not be able to play for at least two weeks and if he or she shows symptoms, that period of time may increase over time.

What happens if a team or an individual violates COVID-19 protocol?

It is not clear how the league will handle potential fines for breaking COVID-19 protocol. It is still finalizing how it will handle violations. However, fans can expect that the NBA will follow the NFL’s lead in that fines, which will likely vary based on the severity of each violation.