The Portland Trail Blazers have closed their practice facility today due to a potential COVID-19 outbreak.
That’s according to Neil Olshey, president of basketball operations for the team.
“Over the past four days, we have had three positive COVID test results within our organization. Out of an abundance of caution, having completed contact tracing, we are closing our practice facility today for deep cleaning while we run confirmatory tests,” he posted on social media.
The team hasn’t said who in the organization tested positive.
Blazers star Damian Lillard posted a live video of himself working out solo on a treadmill and chatting with fans over social media on Sunday afternoon.
The Blazers are scheduled to host the Sacramento Kings for their opening game of the pre-season on Friday. Their first regular-season game is scheduled for Dec. 23 at the Moda Center, playing the Utah Jazz.
The NBA’s regular season runs from Dec.22 and ends in May 2021, with finals scheduled for July.
While the league created a “bubble” isolation zone in Orlando to protect its players from COVID-19 during the final games of the 2020 season, for the current season the teams are traveling for games — in the midst of record numbers of COVID-19 infections in the United States to date.
Last week, the NBA sent teams a detailed memo outlining COVID-19 safety measures and warning of fines, suspensions, and game forfeitures for teams that don’t follow protocols and spread the virus, according to ESPN.
Players and staff are prohibited from going to bars, entertainment venues, or gyms and from participating in social events with more than 15 people. They are also being tested daily, according to the NBA.
The NBA said it will not suspend or cancel the season in response to what it calls a small or expected number of COVID-19 cases.
On Sunday, Oregon reported 1,290 new cases of COVID-19 and 6 new deaths. The virus has claimed more than 1,000 lives in the state since the pandemic began.
The number of people with serious complications remains high, with 546 people hospitalized across the state and 113 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units.
If the rate of transmission of the virus doesn’t fall, the state’s latest model estimates 75 to 110 people with new severe cases of the illness daily by Dec. 24.
If people follow measures like mask-wearing and avoiding contact with groups of people indoors, that could significantly slow the spread of the virus, according to the modelers.
Oregon currently requires masks for adults and children over 5 when people are in public, and is asking people to limit their gatherings to small groups and stay home when they are sick.
Oregon, Washington, and California have all asked their residents to suspend non-essential travel.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Portland Trail Blazers exectuive Neil Olshey’s name. OPB regrets the error.