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NBA COVID tracker: Raptors’ cases rise to seven, Cavs now at eight; 80-plus players sidelined in protocols

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In order to limit postponements, the league and the National Basketball Players Association have reportedly agreed to new rules about signing replacement players, and the two sides have also agreed to temporarily tighter protocols that call for more testing and stricter mask requirements from Dec. 26 to Jan. 8, per ESPN and The Athletic. The Brooklyn Nets have 10 players in protocols, including stars Kevin Durant, James Harden and the unvaccinated Kyrie Irving, who will rejoin the team when he’s cleared but will not be permitted to play games in New York or Toronto. The Toronto Raptors have seven players in protocols, but are still planning to play Wednesday’s game at Chicago, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. If any player tests positive for COVID-19, he must immediately isolate until 10 days have passed from that test or the onset of symptoms, or until he tests negative on two PCR tests 24 hours apart.

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