LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — As the NBA prepares for the possibility that the global coronavirus outbreak could impact how games are played, the league office reportedly gave teams until Tuesday to have several precautionary measures in place.
According to a memo obtained by ESPN, the NBA has called for teams to have an infectious disease specialist on call, a nearby testing facility for the coronavirus and a roster of essential employees who have close physical contact with the players.
ESPN also reported that the NBA will hold a conference call Monday evening with team doctors and trainers to address the coronavirus outbreak.
The memo also told teams to ensure they have a plan in place for scaled-down team traveling parties, ESPN reported.
The NBA is also making it mandatory for teams to distribute hand sanitizer to players and staff members in an attempt to prevent transmission of the virus and has previously instructed players to change how they interact with fans — advising they refrain from shaking hands and signing autographs.
Though the NBA has called for teams to be prepared in the event fans are not allowed to attend, Lakers star LeBron James said that was not happening.
“I ain’t playing,” he said after the Lakers beat the Milwaukee Bucks Friday night. “If I ain’t got the fans in the crowd, that’s what I play for. I play for my teammates, I play for the fans. That’s what it’s all about. If I show up to an arena, and there ain’t no fans in there? I ain’t playing. So, they could do what they want to do.”
The news comes as confirmed cases in the United States surged to 429, with 88 of those in California — including 14 in Los Angeles County.
The Lakers are scheduled to play the Clippers tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.