NBA, NBPA warns players in memo about contact with fans as coronavirus spreads in U.S.

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association, in a joint coronavirus memo, are telling players for the time being to avoid high-fiving fans – fist bumps were recommended – and taking items such as pens, markers, basketballs and jerseys from fans to sign autographs.

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum on Saturday tweeted that he was taking a break from signing autographs until further notice.

“The health and safety of NBA players, coaches, staff, and fans is paramount,” the NBA and NBPA said in the memo delivered Sunday. “We are consulting with infectious disease experts, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and … a world-renowned infectious disease researcher at Columbia University.  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.”

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The memo explained what coronavirus is, how it spreads, detailed the symptoms and gave an update on the current situation in the USA and best practices to decrease the risk of getting coronavirus.

The memo said the league is “is coordinating its responses with teams, focusing on the prevention measures recommended by the CDC, local public health agencies, and teams’ infectious disease consultants.”

The league instructed players to ask their team physician if they had further questions and also provided e-mails and cell phone numbers for the NBPA’s chief medical officer and the NBA’s director of sports medicine.

The league will continue to share information with teams and players.

Follow NBA reporter Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt

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