NBA teams on Wednesday reportedly were “instructed not to test” asymptomatic players and staff for COVID-19.
But that apparently no longer is the case.
With NBA practice facilities officially allowed to open Friday, teams now will be allowed to test asymptomatic players and staff for COVID-19, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Orlando Magic plan to reopen their facilities Tuesday and have been approved to offer tests to players beforehand, per Woj. The Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers reportedly likely will be allowed to conduct coronavirus testing, as well.
It’s unclear how or where most teams in the league will obtain the tests needed to keep facilities open as the United States continues to face a shortage of tests in some of the hardest-hit areas. Other leagues, like the NHL and Major League Baseball, have been hesitant to return due to concerns about the lack of testing available in the country and the high number of tests they would require to resume or begin play.
A Magic spokesperson, however, says the team has a written authorization from Orange Country confirming it will not impact the availability of local testing.
“We have been assured we are not taking any (antiviral or coronavirus) tests from health care workers, first responders or anyone, whether they are experiencing symptoms or asymptomatic,” the spokesman said, per Woj. “As we have been told, the general public in our community can go to numerous locations to receive a coronavirus test.”
Both Los Angeles squads, meanwhile, have access to tests recently made available by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver still believes testing in the U.S. must be more widespread before the league can consider resuming play. So, for now, we wait.