CLEVELAND — Editor's Note: The above video is from January 14, 2021
For the first time in the 2020-21 season, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Cavs' upcoming games at the Washington Wizards on Sunday, January 17 and Monday, January 18 have been postponed.
According to a statement from the Cavaliers, due to ongoing contact tracing within the Wizards, the team will not have the NBA-minimum of eight players available.
At this time, there is no word on when the games will be rescheduled. The Cavaliers are scheduled to take on the New York Knicks on Friday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Several other teams have been dealing with coronavirus outbreaks, causing the NBA to revisit its COVID-19 protocols. On Wednesday, the league reported that a total of 16 players had tested positive in the previous eight days.
Here are the new protocols according to the NBA Players Association:
For at least the next two weeks, players and team staff are required to stay at their residence at all times "except to attend team-related activities at team facility or arena, exercise outside, or perform essential activities, or as a result of extraordinary circumstances."
Players and team staff may not leave the hotel (other than for team activities or emergencies) or interact with non-team guests at the hotel.
On flights, teams must create a seating plane on planes so that players whose assigned seats are closest to each other on the bench or games are also closest to each other on the plane.
During pre- and post-game periods, players must limit interactions to elbow or fist bumps, avoid extended socializing and maintain 6 feet of distance as much as possible.
Players must wear facemasks on the bench at all times. Upon exiting the game and prior to returning to the bench, players can sit in "cool down chairs" arranged at least 12 feet from the bench with each chair 6 feet apart, where facemasks are not required. After cooling down, the player can return to his assigned seat on the bench and wear a facemask until entering the game again.
Players are required to wear masks in the locker room, during strength/conditioning activities and when traveling with anyone other than a household member. Coaches and other team staff must wear facemasks at all times during games.