Pro sports activities taking huge COVID hit as Omicron variant spreads quickly

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Professional sports activities leagues throughout North America are on alert as a surge of COVID-19 instances leaves dozens of gamers sidelined, prompting groups to shutter services and forcing the postponement of a rising variety of video games.

The NFL, NBA and NHL had been scrambling to counter a pointy uptick in coronavirus instances because the Geneva-based World Health Organization warned the brand new Omicron variant was spreading at an unprecedented price.

CBSSports.com COVID-19 tracker

NFL

After a comparatively untroubled opening three months of the American soccer season, COVID-19 has returned to stalk the NFL with a vengeance prior to now week.

A day after the league reported a pointy spike in COVID-19 instances — with 37 recorded in a single day on Monday — the Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns grew to become the most recent groups to be hit by the virus.

The Rams closed their observe facility and entered the NFL’s intense security protocols after 9 gamers had been positioned on the reserve/COVID-19 listing.

Affected gamers included star large receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Four different Rams had been already on the COVID-19 listing.

Rams workers members had been working remotely, and extra instances are anticipated in what head coach Sean McVay mentioned was a “uniquely challenging” state of affairs.

In Cleveland in the meantime, the Browns introduced the workforce had additionally entered the NFL’s enhanced COVID-19 protocols after eight gamers had been placed on the reserve listing.

The Washington Football Team put two extra gamers on the workforce’s COVID-19 listing, taking the tally to 10.

On Monday, it was reported {that a} Washington worker — in a roundabout way concerned with the enjoying or teaching workers — had examined optimistic for Omicron, the primary identified case of the variant within the NFL.

As of November 17, greater than 94% of NFL gamers had been vaccinated. Nearly 100% of NFL personnel have additionally been vaccinated.

NBA

In the NBA in the meantime, the Los Angeles Lakers cancelled a scheduled observe session on Tuesday after Talen Horton-Tucker examined optimistic.

In a separate growth, Brooklyn Nets starters James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Bembry missed Tuesday’s house recreation in opposition to the Toronto Raptors after getting into COVID-19 protocols.

Jevon Carter and James Johnson had been additionally added to the COVID-19 listing on Tuesday, becoming a member of the Nets’ Paul Millsap, who entered the protocols on Monday.

On Monday, the NBA mentioned Chicago Bulls video games in opposition to the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday and Toronto Raptors on Thursday had each been referred to as off, the primary video games of the season to be postponed as a result of COVID-19.

NHL

Ice hockey was additionally dealing with a COVID resurgence.

On Monday, the NHL postponed Calgary Flames video games by way of to December 16 after six gamers and a member of workers entered the league’s COVID protocols.

Seven NHL groups reported new COVID instances on Tuesday, and the Carolina Hurricanes had been compelled to postpone their recreation with the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday after an outbreak.

COVID-19 issues have additionally positioned a query mark over the participation of NHL stars at subsequent February’s Winter Olympics in Beijing.

NHL Players Association government director Don Fehr mentioned on Saturday {that a} lack of “concrete answers” from Beijing Games officers about COVID-19 protocols, together with quarantine guidelines, was creating uncertainty amongst gamers.

Speaking on a video convention name on Tuesday, USA Hockey government director Pat Kelleher mentioned that, though officers obtained recent tips on Monday, they had been nonetheless awaiting readability on quarantine guidelines for any participant testing optimistic for COVID-19 in China.

“We are certainly hopeful that all systems will be go by the time we get ready to go to Beijing,” Kelleher mentioned.

“But there’s certainly work to be done. There are a lot of moving parts, a lot of things to be discussed and hopefully answered so that everybody can feel the best about sending the best players from the NHL.”

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