Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns said recently it was "nerve-racking" as he watched members of his team and many around the NBA test positive for COVID-19 and enter the league's health and safety protocols.

"It's definitely a difficult situation, not only for our team … but for the entire league," Towns said Sunday.

On Thursday, Towns found himself in the protocols after a positive test. Coach Chris Finch said Towns was "frustrated" — Towns tweeted Thursday night he couldn't catch a break — but said physically Towns was asymptomatic and feeling fine.

Towns, who said family members — including his mother, Jacqueline — died because of the coronavirus, missed 13 games last season after he contracted COVID-19. He said recently he received his booster shot in addition to being vaccinated last season.

“The rules are changing, the protocols are changing so fast. ... For us to think that it's going to be as it is now in three or four days' time would probably be unrealistic. We'll have to wait and see what that landscape looks like.”
Chris Finch

Shortly before the Wolves played their game against Utah, they announced Towns and Champlin Park alumnus McKinley Wright IV became their sixth and seventh players out because of COVID protocols. The Wolves had at least one player enter the protocols before each of their past four games.

"He's in the best spirits possible," Finch said about Towns. "Unfortunately it happens right before the holidays, too. It's going to affect the next couple days for everybody in and around him. But he was in the best spirit possible."

The Wolves were down four starters against the Jazz with Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt and Anthony Edwards also in the protocols in addition to Towns, the team's leading scorer and rebounder. Reserves Josh Okogie and Taurean Prince have also missed the past few games in the protocols.

Finch said he wasn't aware if there were any conversations to postpone Thursday's game with seven Wolves sidelined. Utah was one of the few teams in the league with no COVID absences.

The Wolves have three days off after Thursday's game, and they could use it. The good news for the Wolves is that before their next game Monday at home, Edwards and Prince will have served the league-mandated 10 days in quarantine following their first positive test and could return.

Other players are eligible to return after they have been in quarantine 10 days or return two negative PCR tests at least 24 hours apart. The league, however, may be making changes to its protocols and allowing players to come back after six days in quarantine, according to a report from ESPN. It's unclear how soon that new protocol would take effect if enacted.

"The rules are changing, the protocols are changing so fast ..." Finch said. "For us to think that it's going to be as it is now in three or four days' time would probably be unrealistic. We'll have to wait and see what that landscape looks like."

Towns posted Wednesday to his Instagram a partnership with Cue, the NBA's official COVID home test.

On Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said there were no plans to pause the season even as several teams have dealt with COVID outbreaks. He said about 90% of the league's cases have been caused by the omicron variant.

Finch said the past week hasn't taken much of a toll mentally on the Wolves, who on Thursday played their fourth game with players on the COVID list.

"The mood is good," Finch said. "It's just kind of every day there's another thing we're dealing with. We're a little numb to it right now. In some ways when you're preparing for battle, so to speak, it's what you want. Just getting guys focused on going in there, playing hard. Do what we expect you to do."