Because the NBA continues to take care of the truth of trying to play the 2020-21 common season amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the league despatched a memo to groups Wednesday night time detailing plans to attempt to complement the testing already in place for gamers and referees with localized gameday testing in all 28 NBA cities.
The memo, a replica of which was obtained by ESPN, asks every workforce to spend the following two days searching for native testing suppliers; the league plans to debate these findings with the groups over the weekend with the purpose of starting to implement the additional exams someday subsequent week. The purpose is to discover a native supplier of polymerase chain response (PCR) exams that may flip round at the very least 40 exams — sufficient to deal with gamers on each groups, as nicely that night time’s referees — that could possibly be collected the morning of a recreation and returned at the very least one hour earlier than the beginning of the sport.
PCR exams are extra correct than the speedy exams however take far longer to course of.
Whereas Bioreference, which handles each of the each day exams the NBA is already utilizing — PCR and a speedy check — will proceed to be the league’s testing service, the purpose to find native testing in each metropolis is to make sure that, within the occasion there is a matter with transportation of exams, there’s a backup possibility obtainable to make sure everybody is evident to take part in that night time’s recreation.
Below the present system, for a participant or referee to take part in a recreation, they should have a unfavorable PCR check from the day earlier than the sport, and a unfavorable speedy check from the morning of the sport. So, for instance, gamers and referees collaborating in Thursday’s recreation between the Miami Warmth and Philadelphia 76ers would wish to have a unfavorable PCR check taken Wednesday, and a unfavorable speedy check taken Thursday morning.
The explanation the PCR check is from the day earlier than is as a result of there’s roughly a 12-hour processing time on these exams, so the outcomes sometimes are available in in a single day. In cities the place there’s a Bioreference lab, nevertheless, these check outcomes will be rotated sooner.
The extra testing comes within the wake of the NBA and the Nationwide Basketball Gamers Affiliation agreeing on Tuesday to tighten the league’s well being and security protocols, together with, amongst different issues, closing off rooms to non-team friends in motels on the highway, rising using masks and additional limiting each workforce assembly occasions and participant contact. All of that is being executed because the NBA tries to play its season throughout a pandemic that continues to rage throughout the nation and has considerably disrupted the league’s schedule over the previous a number of days.
The NBA has now postponed 9 video games this season, together with eight this week alone. Three of them had been scheduled for Wednesday: the Orlando Magic on the Boston Celtics, Utah Jazz at Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks at Phoenix Suns.