Players and staff will have to deal with some uncomfortable conditions before the NBA resumes its 2019-20 season.
According to a memo sent to teams Saturday, the league will conduct COVID-19 testing on players and “essential team staff” every other day prior to the NBA resuming play in Orlando, Fla., according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps and Zach Lowe. Essential staff includes “any coaches, trainers or medical personnel who will be working with players directly, or will be part of the travel party.”
These testing protocols will begin June 23.
Parties will be tested for the coronavirus two days before their respective team leaves for Orlando, as well. Teams currently are scheduled to arrive between July 7 and July 9.
“The NBA has partnered with Quest Diagnostics to provide the tests and has assured that the tests the league use won’t take away from the tests necessary for front-line health care workers, first responders or symptomatic patients in each team’s city,” ESPN’s report states. “The league also plans to offer both a COVID-19 test and an antibody test to household members of players and essential staff on June 23, and will also provide free, public testing in each of the 21 cities with teams participating in the league’s restart next month.”
Saturday’s memo, however, did not outline how players or staff will be treated should they test positive. It’s unclear what testing protocols will be in place once teams arrive in Orlando, either.
That said, the NBA likely will continue testing players and staff once the season resumes. And even though some players aren’t too keen on being tested as often, it’s the reality they’ll need to face.