Toronto Raptors forward Precious Achiuwa has entered health and safety protocols after a close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
The Raptors are abiding by a Toronto Public Health directive to self-isolate for 10 days after a potential exposure. Under NBA health and safety protocols, Achiuwa would have been eligible to play due to his negative tests for the virus.
The news comes three days after Raptors president and vice-chairman Masai Ujiri announced he'd tested positive for the virus. The Raptors cancelled practice on Thursday out of an abundance of caution.
The Raptors, who host Sacramento on Monday to cap their season-long seven-game homestand, are 100 per cent vaccinated, and continue to test negative for COVID-19.
The Raptors were hit hard by an outbreak of the pandemic last March when they were playing in Tampa, Fla., and fell down the Eastern Conference standings, eventually missing the playoffs.
Coach Nick Nurse said the recent COVID-19 scare is "just reality."
"When there's a situation that we've been made aware of, then you step up and do everything you're asked to do. And you do it together and you do it with a positivity (rather) than with 'Oh, God,'" Nurse said. "We’re doing it with a positivity of let's take care of each other, let take care of our co-workers and team and community and everything we're supposed to do."
Ujiri tested positive after his Giants of Africa events on Dec. 5. He said in a statement that the event was organized "in compliance with all current public health guidance" and that everyone who attended had to show proof of vaccination. Masks were worn when guests were not eating or drinking.
"Unfortunately, after the gala, we learned of positive COVID-19 tests among our guests, and even though I am fully vaccinated and have received a booster shot, I also subsequently tested positive."
Nurse said that OG Anunoby and Khem Birch, who are both battling injuries, won't play on Monday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 12, 2021.
The Canadian Press