Los Angeles Clippers head coach Ty Lue has entered the COVID-19 protocols, the team announced on Friday. Assistant coach Brian Shaw will serve as acting head coach until Lue is able to return.
Lue is the 10th head coach to enter the protocols this season. Doc Rivers (Philadelphia 76ers), Michael Malone (Denver Nuggets), Mark Daigneault (Oklahoma City Thunder), Monty Williams (Phoenix Suns), Chauncey Billups (Portland Trail Blazers), and Billy Donovan (Chicago Bulls), are all currently in protocols. Rick Carlisle (Indiana Pacers), Alvin Gentry (Sacramento Kings) and Frank Vogel (Los Angeles Lakers) cleared protocols earlier in December.
The NBA and the NBPA recently adopted modified quarantine procedures for players and coaches in the protocols. Depending on their cycle threshold, those who test positive could be eligible to return in six days rather than the previously established 10 days.
“We always are measuring viral loads with our PCR tests, that’s part of the protocol,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a recent interview. “And so it’s something … not just our doctors, but the medical community is looking at. One, I think they’re already realizing that you can move away from the 10-day protocol when you have players who are vaccinated and boosted. It seems like the virus runs through their systems faster. They become not just asymptomatic but, more importantly, they’re not shedding the virus anymore. That’s the real concern, in terms of (spreading the virus to) others. We are actively looking at shortening the amount of days that a player is out before he can return to the floor.”
Complicating matters for Lue, though, is that his positive test came in Canada ahead of the Clippers’ game against the Toronto Raptors. The Canadian government is in the process of implementing much stricter rules such as limiting capacity at sporting events and prohibiting unvaccinated players from entering the country starting Jan. 15. In addition, they recommend that persons with COVID-19 “isolate for a minimum of 10 days from the onset of symptoms for a symptomatic case, or the collection date of a positive specimen for an asymptomatic case.”
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