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NBA Tweaks Covid-19 Testing Policy

Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the league is addressing potential glitches in testing.

Milwaukee Bucks v Houston Rockets Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The NBA has, thus far, seen its bubble working as intended; players with positive tests have been isolated, and games have been played without a hitch.

But concern is growing around the league regarding potential “testing glitches, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:

The NBA has tightened its protocol on retesting and allowing players a return to the court within a 24-hour window, according to league memo obtained by ESPN.

Now, a player returning an inconclusive result — which occurs in approximately five of every 1,000 tests — can still become eligible to play in a game that is within 24 hours — instead of needing to wait 48 hours, the memo said.

The player must test negative in an immediate retest upon receiving the inconclusive result, and then return another negative test within 60 minutes of the scheduled tipoff of his team’s next game, the memo said.

Teams fear playoff scenarios where a key player could be lost — despite the fact that he hasn’t tested positive for the coronavirus.

Before the change, there had been a two-day period of time that required two negative tests in consecutive 24-hour periods.

The Sacramento Kings reportedly had a player with an inconclusive test last week who went through this process.