A member of the Los Angeles Clippers’ support staff tested positive for COVID-19 and is one of seven staffers in quarantine away from the team, according to a report.
Citing unnamed sources, ESPN reported that the quarantined group, which traveled in vans from Salt Lake City to L.A. this weekend, did not include players, coaches or team management.
The Clippers went on to Phoenix to play the Suns on Sunday night, which they won 112-107.
The sources said contact tracing of the positive test linked the staff members to a New Year’s Eve staff gathering with food and drinks in a presidential suite of a Salt Lake City team hotel where mask wearing was “intermittent.”
Despite being without the quarantined staff members, the team announced they had enough support staff for their Sunday night game.
“This episode becomes one more cautionary tale in a league fighting to play a 72-game regular-season schedule and playoffs amid the coronavirus pandemic while limiting outbreaks within teams,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said.
The NBA recently encouraged teams to monitor and properly discipline protocol violators, according to a memo obtained by ESPN, which said, “determining the facts, providing the person alleged to have violated the protocols with an opportunity to be heard, and using principles of fairness, proportionality and progressivity in determining discipline.”