NBA Tells Teams not to Test Players, Coaches Without Symptoms of COVID-19

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Stories Shaping Sports and Business: Friday, May 1st

No Tests for Asymptomatic Players in the NBA

The NBA is once again making headlines for their actions during the coronavirus pandemic. The league sent out a memo to all 30 teams asking them not to schedule tests for players and staff members if they are not showing any symptoms of COVID-19.

Direct quote from the memo: "for the time being, it is not appropriate in the current public health environment to regularly test all players and staff for the coronavirus.”

Although the NBA was the first sports league to postpone its season due to the outbreak, the league received criticism early on when hundreds of players were reportedly being tested for the coronavirus despite limited access to tests for the general population.

The league’s most recent memo comes just two days after commissioner Adam Silver sent out a memo explaining the new protocol of allowing players back in team training facilities, which does not have a finalized date.

$12 Billion in Lost Sports Revenue 

Today is Day 51 with no sports. 

According to ESPN the coronavirus’ shutdown of the sports world will cause a $12 billion loss in revenue. which could double if college football and the NFL does not return in the fall. According to the study conducted on behalf of ESPN, there are several hundred thousand people that work for professional leagues, the NCAA and youth sports all out of work. For example, one NBA game has about 1,900 people working in the arena. In total, the NBA supports about 52,000 people according to the study, 80% of which are non-team personnel.

It’s very clear … sports are not recession-proof. 

Daily Coronavirus Update

There are more than 3.2 million cases of the coronavirus worldwide, with over 230,000 deaths. The U.S. has over a million cases and over 60,000 deaths. New York has 300,000 cases and over 18,000 fatalities. Spain has 213,000 cases and 24,000 deaths.

The World Health Organization extended its declaration of a global health emergency on Friday. The extension comes at a time when the WHO is facing a lot of criticism and a temporary stop in funding from the U.S. It also comes three months after the WHO originally announced a public health emergency of international concern back on January 30th. 

The combination of the rapid rise in cases in Africa and South America, along with the staggering 3.2 million people infected with the virus, led WHO officials to reassess the evolution of the pandemic, according to the New York Times. Evidence suggests that there are cases of sustained transmission on six continents in the world. WHO is eyeing weaker healthcare systems that could be overwhelmed by the pandemic. The director-general of the WHO has warned that even more “sophisticated” systems are struggling with the pandemic. 

TheStreet's Katherine Ross contributed to this report.