Report: NBA Outlines Testing Players, Coaches For COVID-19 Ahead Of Restart
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NBA sent its 30 teams a memo outlining testing players and coaches for the coronavirus disease ahead of the league’s restart, according to multiple reports.
The league informed teams that they are now able to test asymptomatic individuals for COVID-19, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Previously teams were told that only individuals with symptoms should be tested for the coronavirus disease.
Charania said that asymptomatic individuals are now able to be tested due to an “increase in testing and revised CDC guidelines.”
The NBA insider also said that the league is “seeking to fun a Yale School of Public Health study that will support validation of saliva-based coronavirus test and could further availability of cost-effective/noninvasive/rapid test to the general population.”
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the NBA sent a memo to teams outlining “a schedule for coronavirus testing” for the 22 franchises participating in the league’s proposed restart in Orlando.
“Starting 6/23, all members of a teams traveling party to ORL will be tested every other day in lead up to trip,” Lowe tweeted. “Traveling party members will tested on *each* of the last two days before the day the team travels to Orlando, per the memo. Coronavirus testing in Orlando is expected to be done daily, per prior reports.”
Prior to these reports, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the NBA’s plan to restart the 2019-20 season amid the coronavirus pandemic is “quite creative” and he thinks the league might “quite successful with it.”
“I actually have looked at that plan and it is really quite creative. What they are really trying to do, and I think they might very well be quite successful with it, is to create a situation where it is as safe as it possibly could be for the players by creating this bubble,” Fauci said. “Essentially testing everybody. Make sure that you start with a baseline of everybody being negative and trying to make sure that there is no influx into that cohort of individuals and do a tournament type play.”
On Friday, June 12, more than 80 NBA players reportedly had a call to discuss the season’s reboot as well as issues like the coronavirus and racial injustice.
One of the players reportedly on the call was Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell.
On March 12, Mitchell became the second NBA player known to have tested positive for the coronavirus disease, COVID-19. Mitchell’s Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus a day earlier on March 11.
The NBA and its Players Association are currently negotiating details of a plan to restart the 2019-20 season in a bubble environment at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida in late July.
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The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:
- Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
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