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#pounditMonday, November 30, 2020

Report: Certain NBA teams will be able to test asymptomatic players, staff

Adam Silver

NBA teams will be taking a number of precautions to prevent coronavirus outbreaks now that some of them have re-opened their practice facilities, but certain teams will have the ability to be more cautious than others.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday that the NBA will allow certain teams to administer coronavirus tests to players and staff members who are not exhibiting symptoms. Those teams will be granted an exception if they can obtain written authorization from local authorities stating that there are plenty of tests available to health care workers in their cities. The Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic are among the teams that will be permitted to test every player and staff member who enters their team facility.

The Magic issued a statement on Friday saying the team has been assured its testing program will not stand in the way of healthcare workers or first responders having access to tests.

Other teams, such as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers, reopened their team facilities on Friday but have not been given permission to test asymptomatic members of their organizations.

The NBA is planning to regularly test players when the season resumes, according to Wojnarowski. However, league officials have been concerned about the perception that the NBA is using tests that would be better served going to other people in the community. The “limited exception” teams are receiving should help address that, though there are going to be people who wonder why asymptomatic NBA players are entitled to tests when other people who have to work in close contact with others are not.

The NBA has issued new practice guidelines that teams must follow if they are holding formal workouts. There has been no date set yet for the potential resumption of the season.

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