In a joint statement, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association announced the results of its latest COVID-19 testing period in advance of its season restart in Orlando, Fla.
Since testing began on June 23, 25 of 351 players tested produced positive results, which represents a nine-player increase since the league’s last disclosure on June 26, when it reported 16 of 302 players (5.3%) had tested positive. Ten of 884 team staff members tested from June 23 - 29 were positive. In all, that equates to a 7.1% positive rate for players and 1.1% positive rate for staff. Of 1,235 tested NBA employees, 35 were positive (2.8%).
“Any player, coach or team staff member who tested positive will remain in self-isolation until they satisfy public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and have been cleared by a physician,” the statement released by the league and Players Association said.
Latest numbers from league, PA pic.twitter.com/2HwKTdTUAm— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) July 2, 2020
For comparison, the NHL, which also plans to restart in July, announced on June 29 that 15 players from a sample "in excess of 250" players that reported to team facilities produced positive results upon testing (so, a rate of 6% or fewer).
The 22 NBA teams participating in the season restart began mandatory “Phase 2” testing on June 23 upon returning to their respective home markets (with the exception of the Toronto Raptors, who traveled straight to Orlando, according to multiple reports). Some players have publicly disclosed that they tested positive, including Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets — who reported being symptomatic to The Athletic’s Shams Charania — Jabari Parker of the Sacramento Kings, and others.
The Nets and Denver Nuggets both recently closed their team facilities after multiple positive tests in the organizations, according to reports from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and the Denver Post’s Mike Singer, respectively. The Nets have since reopened their facility, per Wojnarowski.
“Phase 3” of the NBA’s return plan — in which head coaches are allowed to observe restricted workouts, but group workouts are still prohibited — began on July 1. Travel to Orlando for the teams participating in the restart is set to be staggered between July 7 and July 9, with group workouts permitted starting July 11 after a period of isolation. Regular testing will happen throughout the restart.