The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association jointly announced Wednesday night that there were 48 positive tests for COVID-19 out of the 546 players tested from Nov. 24 to Nov. 30.
This was the initial round of tests for players as they returned to their teams’ markets ahead of the start of individual workouts Tuesday. The regular season is scheduled to start Dec. 22.
The NBA will be testing all of its players daily throughout the season.
While the league’s positive test rate of 8.8% in its initial testing is lower than the national average of 10.2% over the same time frame, it also is significantly higher than the 5.3% rate (16 out of 302) during the same return-to-market period in late June before play at the bubble in Orlando, Florida.
In total, 46 players tested positive for the coronavirus in the weeks leading up to and upon initially arriving at the bubble. After the bubble was formed, the league had no positive tests through the end of the season in mid-October.
As for this season, one team, the Golden State Warriors, delayed the beginning of its individual workouts by a day this week because of positive tests.
As the league detailed in its 134-page health and safety protocols released to teams over the weekend, a player will have to refrain from workouts for 10 days if he tests positive and remains asymptomatic — or 10 days from the end of his symptoms, if he has any. After that, a player will then have to spend two days working out individually, as well as have to pass a cardiac screening, before being allowed to resume full team activities.
That would make it a minimum 12 days from the time a player tested positive until he was able to resume full participation with teammates.
The NBA’s first preseason games are Dec. 11 — or fewer than 12 days from the end of the first testing window.