LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus continued to grow, the NBA reportedly sent a memo to its franchises indicating that they should prepare for the possibility of playing games without fans.

Sahms Charania of The Athletic reported that the memo said should it become necessary, teams should identify “essential staff” to be present during games that would be played in otherwise empty stadiums.

Earlier this week, a separate memo was issued to teams with suggestions for avoiding the virus, according to ESPN reporters Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe. Among those steps, the league suggested players fist-bump instead of high-five and avoid taking items from fans to autograph.

So far the NBA has not canceled, rescheduled or otherwise altered any games in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The news comes as confirmed cases in the United States surged to 330, with 69 of those in California — including 13 in Los Angeles County.

A request for comment from the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers about the matter was not immediately returned.


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