Some NBA teams allowed to test asymptomatic players, staff for coronavirus

In the municipalities where coronavirus test it has become readily available to health care professionals at risk, NBA teams opening voluntary exercise facilities will be able to administer tests to asymptomatic players and staff, sources told ESPN.

O Orlando Magic have been approved and plan to administer testing to players before Tuesday’s reopening, and the LA Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers they are among the teams that should be allowed to perform coronavirus tests on all players and staff entering the facility for individual exercises – regardless of symptoms.


Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said recently that the tests are available to all residents, not just frontline and at-risk healthcare professionals.

The NBA recently informed teams of a "limited exception" to guidelines that prohibit testing of asymptomatic individuals in this preliminary phase of players returning to practice facilities. Essentially, the NBA will approve a written authorization from a local health authority that confirms a "robust testing program for health professionals at risk" in the team's community, sources said.


A Magic spokesman told ESPN that the written authorization from Dr. Raul Pino, an Orange County health officer, about the availability of tests in the Orlando community has been approved by the NBA.

"We are sure that we will not take any [antiviral or coronavirus] tests by health professionals, first responders or anyone, are symptom-free or asymptomatic, "said the spokesman." As has already been said, the general public in our community can go to various locations to receive a coronavirus test. "


Among the teams that opened facilities on Friday, including Cleveland and Portland, these testing options were not available, sources said. Trail Blazers and Cavaliers are among the teams planning to participate in the Mayo Clinic Coronavirus Antibody Study – a partnership between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association – which will provide confidential test results to players within two days after the clinic receives samples, sources said. .

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said there must be widespread testing available in the United States before the league can consider resuming the game this season. The NBA plans to test players and officials regularly after the resumption, and sources told ESPN that, in a bubble-isolating format, the NBA expects about 15,000 tests to be needed to complete the 2019-20 season. While the NBA plans to regularly test players for COVID-19 in a formal resumption of the season, it has been reluctant in these voluntary one-hour training scenarios to have a perception that the league is unnecessarily using tests that might otherwise serve those at greatest risk in a community.

Teams will follow several protocols when players return to the facility for these practices, including taking temperatures, sources said.

For franchises and players concerned with protecting re-entry facilities, this can alleviate security concerns and increase participation in programs.


Dallas Mavericks The owner of the site, Mark Cuban, told The Athletic Dallas Podcast this week: "The problem is obviously that since we cannot test people, we cannot guarantee the safety of anyone, whether they are basketball players or anyone else."


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