The Los Angeles Clippers have several staff members in quarantine after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, seven members of the LA Clippers support staff are currently in quarantine in Los Angeles after hosting a New Year's Eve event at the team hotel in Salt Lake City on Thursday night.
The team was in Salt Lake City over the weekend to face the Jazz on New Year's Day, a game they lost 100-106. According to Wjonarowski, contact tracing of the positive case led to a New Year's Eve event located in a presidential suite of the team hotel.
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The event reportedly had food and drinks and masks were only worn intermittently, per Wojnarowski's sources. No players, coaches, or team personnel have been asked to quarantine or have tested positive.
The seven members of the team support staff traveled back to Los Angeles by van on Sunday, as the team traveled by plane to Phoenix to face the Suns.
The NBA and NBA Player's Association voted in November to have a 72-game regular season at their home arena, and not in a bubble environment like they did over the summer in Orlando, Florida.
The Clippers incident is a glaring example of the difficulty that faces the NBA as they try and conduct a season with travel during a global pandemic. Coronavirus cases in the country are surging, with December recorded as the deadliest month of the pandemic in the United States with more than 65,000 COVID-19 related deaths reported.
The Clippers are not the first team to report a positive case, or have to have members of their team or staff quarantine because of contact tracing.
Recently, the NBA sent out a memo encouraging teams to monitor more strictly the league's protocols and guidelines and encouraged teams to punish staff and players if they violated those protocols.
It's unknown at this time if the LA Clippers will mete out any punishment to the staff members that were at the New Year's Eve event.