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Report: NBA owners planning to either delay season or play games without fans

What would the NBA look like without fans? (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

NBA owners reached a consensus in a Wednesday meeting to either continue playing games without fans in arenas or delay the season altogether in response to the spread of the coronavirus, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe.

Wojnarowski clarified that the league is leaning toward playing games without fans.

NCAA bars fans from tournament

The news arrives hours after the NCAA made the extraordinary decision to play its men’s and women’s basketball tournament in arenas without fans. An official decision from the NBA is expected Thursday, according to the report.

The Golden State Warriors announced earlier Wednesday that they would play a Thursday home game against the Brooklyn Nets without fans in attendance. The team announced that decision after San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed barred gatherings of more than 1,000 people in the city.

COVID-19’s impact

The report arrives the same day the World Health Organization declared the spread of the coronavirus a pandemic.

“A pandemic just means that there are many cases of infectious diseases in multiple parts of the world and that it constitutes something that’s above the baseline rate that you’d expect,” infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, told Yahoo Lifestyle. “It doesn’t say anything about severity.”

According to the WHO, most people who catch the COVID-19 illness caused by the coronavirus recover. People who experience mild illness recover in around two weeks, while those stricken with a more severe illness take three to six weeks, according to the WHO.

As of Wednesday, the number of infected people in the United States surpassed 1,000.

Worldwide, more than 121,000 people have been infected, resulting in more than 4,300 deaths, according to the Associated Press.

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