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Handful of Jazz players participate in voluntary workouts at Zions Bank Basketball Campus

Zions Bank Basketball Campus, where the Utah Jazz practice, photographed in Salt Lake City on Monday, May 11, 2020.
Zions Bank Basketball Campus, where the Utah Jazz practice, photographed in Salt Lake City on Monday, May 11, 2020.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz took a very small step toward normalcy on Monday, opening their practice facility for voluntary, individual workouts, marking the first time players have been able to return to Zions Bank Basketball Campus since the NBA suspended the season on March 11.

The Jazz announced that a handful of players participated in workouts on Monday at ZBBC, though it was not made clear which players.

Last Friday, the NBA allowed teams in states that have lifted stay-at-home orders to reopen their facilities on a limited basis and with strict guidelines.

Anyone entering the building must be temperature checked. No more than four players are allowed in a practice facility at one time. No head coaches or assistant coaches are allowed on the premises with the players. No group activities are permitted in the facilities, including scrimmages or team practices. All players and staff must wear face masks except for during workout sessions. Every team must be in consultation with an infectious disease specialist and adhere to any and all local and state guidelines.

Though the Jazz could have opened ZBBC on Friday, the team decided to take an even more cautious route.

“The biggest goal is to have the confidence of our players and staff that they can enter our facility safely,” Utah Jazz executive vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey said last week. “We are taking it very serious.”

Despite restrictions being lifted and NBA gyms opening back up, there are still many that have concerns about the safety and health of the players and staff even with all the precautions.

To that end, the NBA informed players last week that the league will approve a written authorization from a local health authority that confirms a “robust testing program in place for at-risk health care workers” in the team’s community, so that the team in question can test asymptomatic players and staff.

The NBA suspended its season on March 11 after Rudy Gobert became the first player to be diagnosed with COVID-19. The league continues to discuss options for resuming the season and crowning a 2020 champion.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver remains optimistic about being able to resume games in some fashion, but told players in a conference call Friday not to expect fans in arenas for the foreseeable future and that the league could wait until mid-June to make a decision on the season.