NBA Reports Zero Positive COVID-19 Tests in Orlando Bubble
The NBA announced on Wednesday it registered zero positive COVID-19 tests in the latest round of testing.
All 343 players in the Orlando bubble were tested following the release of results on July 29. None of the 343 tests returned a positive sample, continuing the league's perfect record in the resumption of the 2019-20 season. If a player does contract COVID-19 in the bubble, he will "be isolated until he is cleared for leaving isolation under the rules established by the NBA and the Players Association."
NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed his confidence in the league's mass quarantine in July before the seeding games began. Silver expressed some trepidation ahead of the league's restart, but added he is "cautiously optimistic" that the 2019-20 season will be completed. Silver and the NBA appear to be on the right track through the first week of seeding games in Orlando.
“From my standpoint, it’s going very well, and I’m cautiously optimistic that we’re on the right track,” Silver told the New York Times' Marc Stein. “But I also recognize what we’re doing has not been done before, and the competition is just beginning. The real test will come when players are commingling, playing basketball without masks and without physical distancing.”
Teams have still had to battle some coronavirus-related complications as they position themselves for playoff seeding. Russell Westbrook joined the Rockets nearly two weeks late after he tested positive for COVID-19 in Houston, while both James Harden and Austin Rivers were forced to quarantine in the bubble after tending to personal matters. Players who exit the bubble must pass two COVID-19 tests at least 24 hours apart before rejoining their teams.
The NBA resumed the 2019-20 season on July 30. The playoffs are slated to begin on Aug. 18, with the Finals set to be completed by Oct. 12.