SALT LAKE CITY — The NBA is trying its best to take as many precautionary measures as possible as the spread of COVID-19 continues to grow.
During the Utah Jazz’s most recent road trip, the team medical staff put together a presentation for the players and coaching staff and on Monday morning the team met with health officials from the University of Utah to educate themselves and understand how to move forward.
Following Monday morning’s pregame shootaround, the team held its media availability in a room with a press conference table, rather than in the practice gym where it is normally held.
“We’ve tried to be proactive as far as communicating internally,” coach Quin Snyder said. “To raise awareness and to also alleviate concerns that aren’t as founded.”
Additionally, the Larry H. Miller Group released a statement on Monday detailing preventative steps that will be taken companywide to minimize any potential exposure to the virus.
“We have asked our employees, and would extend the same invitation to our guests and customers, that if they are feeling ill, especially if they have any of the documented symptoms of the coronavirus, that they exercise caution and delay visiting our places of businesses until they are symptom-free,” Steve Starks, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, said in the statement.
The statement also included a list detailing some of the measures that will be taken immediately at places of business, including Vivint Arena.
- High-contact surfaces, such as door handles, and high-use areas, such as bathrooms and common rooms, are being sanitized multiple times daily.
- Particular emphasis is being placed on disinfecting high-traffic areas such as box offices and retail stores.
- Additional hand sanitizing dispensers have been purchased and placed at business entry points, and bathroom soap dispensers are well-stocked and operational.
- Increased signage and information, including recommended hygiene practices, are posted in visible areas for greater awareness.
The NBA will be holding a conference call with team medical and training personnel on Monday evening and is scheduled to have a conference call with team owners on Wednesday afternoon to discuss what comes next, according to a report from ESPN.
For now, the biggest thing for the Jazz is trying to stay as educated as possible about the situation and continuing to practice good hygiene and take any precautionary steps available.
“There’s small things that we can do that have been recommended to us by people that know,” Snyder said. “We had a meeting this morning with a group of experts so-to-speak from the U. which was good as far as alleviating some concerns, fears, raising awareness and education. I think that’s the main thing.”
The Jazz head coach also noted that while he believes in the importance of increasing awareness and being as educated as possible, he doesn’t want his staff or players to become overwhelmed with concern.
“There’s direction that will continue to be provided to us and then there’s a lot of little things that we can do,” he said. “The other thing is not build them up in your mind where you’re creating more issues for yourself psychologically.”
Teams have already been advised to limit contact with fans such as high-fives, taking photos and signing autographs. It’s also been recommended that they try to limit high-fives with each other and continue increased hand hygiene.
While no sort of directive has been passed to teams from the NBA league office on cancelling games or playing in arenas without fans, there is increasing concern that things are headed in that direction and teams have been told to be prepared for anything.
Of course, that all falls under the umbrella of things that neither the Jazz front office, coaching staff or players can control. So, until told differently, the approach is to continue on as normally as possible.
“We’ve just got to be prepared for anything,” center Rudy Gobert said. “At the same time, keep living and keep doing what we do. There’s a lot of things that we can’t control.”