16 NBA players test Covid-19 positive ahead of season restart on July 30
Sixteen players have tested positive for Covid-19 out of 302 tests conducted by NBA, the league announced on Friday. It still confirmed plans to resume the 2019-20 season on July 30 in Orlando, Florida. The players who have tested positive include Indiana Pacers’ Malcolm Brogdon, Sacramento King’s Alex Len and Buddy Hield. The list does not include Jabari Parker of Kings, who tested positive in Chicago, and Nikola Jokic, who is in his native Serbia.
NBA conducted the tests on Tuesday, as the players get ready to report for training. The tests were part of NBA’s efforts to create a “bio bubble” called NBA Campus at the Walt Disney World Resorts, before restarting the 2019-20 season that has remained suspended since mid-March.
The players who have tested positive have gone into isolation and will join their teammates in Orlando when they satisfy local authorities that they are free of coronavirus.
“Any player who tested positive will remain in self-isolation until he satisfies public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and has been cleared by a physician,” NBA and NBA Players Association (NBPA) said in a joint statement.
Plans for resuming the 2019-20 season includes “stringent health and safety protocols, a single site campus (at Walt Disney) and the goal of taking collective action to combat systemic racism and promote social justice”.
“The rigorous programme, which addresses risks related to Covid-19 and focuses on the well-being of players, coaches, officials and staff, was developed in consultation with public health experts, infectious disease specialists and government officials,” NBA said in a release.
The revamped competition will have 22 teams--eight from the two conference with highest winning percentages and six others that are within six games of the eighth seed in either conference. Matches will be played at three arenas at the Walt Disney resort in and around Orlando.
As per NBA’s guidelines for restarting the season, the players would be tested a few more times and will be allowed to be part of their teams only if they return multiple negative tests.