Report: Some NBA Teams Can Test For COVID-19
May 8, 2020, 4:49 PM | Updated: 4:56 pm
(Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Some NBA teams can test for COVID-19 as players return the basketball court. The Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Clippers can test asymptomatic players according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Previously, the NBA asked it’s teams not to use the limited number of tests as front line workers lacked access to adequate testing.
The league is allowing franchises to welcome their players back to practice facilities. Players in cities with looser shelter-in-place orders can now return to the courts. Furthermore, the league felt competing pressure to open the facilities from public gyms across the country.
NBA Criticized For Testing
The NBA has faced sharp criticism for testing early in the coronavirus pandemic. For example, many media members questioned the Utah Jazz access to mass testing after Rudy Gobert tested positive. Access to tests was difficult in the United States as the virus first touched down in the country.
It is incredibly disconcerting how quickly the Jazz team/staff were able to be tested for COVID-19 while people with symptoms still can’t get tests.
— Rohan Nadkarni (@RohanNadkarni) March 12, 2020
However, the Oklahoma City Health Department required that the Jazz undergo testing.
“The Utah Jazz did not ask to get tested,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. “The Oklahoma public health official there on the spot not only required that they be tested but they weren’t allowed to leave their locker room for at least four hours after the game. They had to stay masks on in the locker room where they couldn’t leave until the health authorities had tested them.”
Testing In Utah
The Jazz are one team that plans to allow it’s players to retake the floor. However, access to testing remains a question.
The state of Utah has seen steady growth in testing capacity. As of late April, the state could test 5,000 per day. Whether the Jazz have access to those tests remains unknown. The team has not responded to KSL Sports regarding access.
The NBA will open practice facilities on May 8.
The @UtahJazz will follow soon after.#TakeNote https://t.co/gmwyJaZyuJ
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) May 7, 2020
Jazz Vice President of Basketball Operations Dennis Lindsey said the team is happy to see its players return to the floor.
“I think that we’re excited about the opportunities to bring our players back here safely,” Lindsey said. “Take the first small step towards returning to play whenever that happens.”
The Portland Trailblazers, Denver Nuggets, and Cleveland Cavaliers welcomed players back today.
Important For League’s Return
While the NBA said it’s no closer to returning to action, practice doors opening and the fact that some NBA teams can test for COVID-19 is a step in the right direction. Mass testing could help the league realize its hope of a bubble city return for the season.
The Orlando Magic say they have gotten permission from the Orange County Department of Health to test players for COVID-19. Officials have determined there is a robust supply of tests for the general public in that area, so the Magic would not be unnecessarily taxing resources.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) May 8, 2020
The league has been presented with an opportunity to return to action at Orlando’s Disney Resorts should it choose to finish the season. The Orange County Department of Health has granted access to the Orlando Magic to begin testing its players according to AP NBA writer Tim Reynolds.
The league could potentially finish its season on two broadcast-ready courts on Disney property.