Sources told ESPN that a memo was circulated league-wide, in which the NBA informed their teams that it would not be “appropriate in the current public health environment,” to test their asymptomatic players.
The league’s sensitivity on the subject stems from the backlash the league received when they began testing players for the virus right after suspending play. Because the league chose to test their players when testing wasn’t available to much of the public, the league was criticized.
Teams were instructed to make any decisions on testing any players or staff ‘in consultation with an infectious disease specialist, and in consideration of the patient’s individual circumstances and guidance on testing related to COVID-19 from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and from the local health authority in the team’s market.’
The memo also said the NBA is still looking at opportunities for leaguewide testing capabilities, and anticipates implementing one when team-organized activities resume.
The NBA, like the rest of the sports world, continues trying to navigate the unchartered waters of the coronavirus shut down and attempt to figure out the best course towards resuming play. While no certain date has been set for the leagues return, Commissioner Adam Silver has informed teams that they can begin opening practice facilities on May 8th, but only in locations where shelter-in-place restrictions have been lifted.
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