March 3 (UPI) -- The NBA and National Basketball Players Association sent a memo to players recommending they avoid several common forms of fan interaction in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The league sent the memo, titled Coronavirus: Information to Players, to teams Sunday.
"The health and safety of NBA players, coaches, staff and fans is paramount," the memo said. "Working with infectious disease experts, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are providing the following information for players related to the coronavirus outbreak."
Nearly 3,000 people have died in China as a result of the virus, with more than 5,000 confirmed globally in over 70 nations and territories. More than 100 confirmed cases have been reported in the United States, according to state and federal officials.
The NBA and players association memo defined the coronavirus and how it spreads, explained the symptoms, provided an outlook for cases in the United States and educated players about the best practices to decrease the likelihood of contracting it.
"For the time being, when interacting with fans and strangers, avoid high-fiving and offer fist bumps instead," the memo said.
The memo also urged players to avoid taking pens, markers, balls and jerseys from fans while signing autographs.
"The coronavirus has officially hit Oregon, more specifically Lake Oswego," Portland Trail Blazers star C.J. McCollum tweeted Sunday. "Make sure you are all washing your hands with soap for 20 or more seconds and covering your mouths when you cough.
"I am officially taking a break from signing autographs until further notice."
The NBA regular season ends April 15. Playoffs begin April 18 and end in early to mid-June.