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US sports leagues cope with COVID-19 outbreaks amid variants

FILE - This Aug. 9, 2014 file photo shows an NFL logo on a goal post pad before a preseason NFL...
FILE - This Aug. 9, 2014 file photo shows an NFL logo on a goal post pad before a preseason NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field in Detroit. A federal judge Wednesday, July 18, 2018 denied a request from the NFL to appoint a special investigator to look into what the league says is extensive fraudulent claims on the $1 billion concussion settlement. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File)(Rick Osentoski | AP)
Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 10:33 PM EST
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DENVER (AP) — U.S. sports leagues are seeing rapidly increasing COVID-19 outbreaks with dozens of players in health and safety protocols, amid an ongoing surge by the delta variant of the coronavirus and rising cases of the highly transmissible omicron mutation.

Both the NBA and NHL have postponed games over the last month with so many players sidelined, and the men’s basketball teams at Tulane and the University of Washington have had cancellations. But don’t expect the leagues to return to “bubble” play or shut down until things subside. Experts say managing outbreaks is easier with highly vaccinated rosters, and there’s too much at stake to cut back seasons.

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