What happens if an NBA player leaves the bubble? Here are the rules for testing and adhering to coronavirus
While there’s a lot of excitement pending the restart of the NBA season, there’s also a lot of unease amid the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
The competition’s “ bubble ” idea sounds great in theory, but the presence of the corona virus cannot be completely eliminated as teams attempt to end the 2019-20 season at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Players have already left – brought in the ‘bubble’, including Clippers guard Lou Williams, who was quarantined after grabbing dinner from an Atlanta strip club during an apologized absence.
MORE: Everything You Need To Know About The NBA Bubble
Keeping the campus safe for everyone involved will be a major challenge. It’s fair to be skeptical of a league’s competition, but the NBA has taken several measures to ensure that outgoing players don’t endanger the health of others and derail the season.
How often are NBA players tested for the corona virus?
As part of being 100-plus page health and safety document (via ESPN’s Tim Bontemps and Brian Windhorst), the NBA says players will be tested “regularly” for COVID-19, but it has not been specified exactly how often players will be tested daily or weekly. Players can be tested daily under certain conditions.
What happens if an NBA player tests positive for coronavirus?
If a player tests positive for COVID-19, that player is isolated and then retested to verify that the first test did not produce a false positive. If additional tests confirm the original result, that player is out for at least 14 days. The player would also have to pass a cardiac screening in order to play.
In that scenario, everyone who has had close contact with the player or has had direct contact with the player for at least 15 minutes is tested.
When is an NBA player allowed to leave the bubble?
A player can leave at any time, but if the absence is not highlighted, that player should be quarantined for 10-14 days upon return.
Some examples of excused absences:
- Receive team-oriented medical care off campus
- Birth of a child
- Illness / death in family
- Family wedding previously planned
What happens if an NBA player re-enters the bubble?
If a player returns from an unsubstantiated absence, that player is subjected to improved tests (deep nasal swab) and 10- to 14-day quarantine. That player would also experience a salary cut for missed games during absence and / or quarantine.
An apologized absence would force a player to remain in quarantine for only four days, as long as that player tests negative for COVID-19 every day if the player is off the Orlando campus.
From the NBA’s Health and Safety Document (via ESPN’s Bobby Marks):
- Improved tests: Testing involves testing nasopharyngeal smears.
- Quarantine: Dozens of days of quarantine in a hotel room or other campus grounds (which can be extended to a total of 14 days, as directed by an infectious disease consultant designated by the NBA for the case). However, if a player leaves campus for mitigating circumstances with the prior approval of the competition (eg, need for off-campus team-based medical care, child birth, documented serious illness or death in family, or previously planned family marriage), and (a ) undergoes a daily off-campus daily PCR test and returns negative test results each time, or (b) if players leave for extended absence but undergo a daily PCR test and a negative test result for at least the seven days prior to his return to campus, then the quarantine of the player on campus is four days (subject to renewal by an infectious disease consultant designated by the NBA for the case). The player must undergo his final PCR test before leaving quarantine via a nasopharyngeal swab.
Can an outbreak of the coronavirus end the NBA season?
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has admitted that the season of the league may be suspended or canceled if there is a major COVID-19 outbreak.
“Never again at full speed, no matter what happens,” said Silver in June. “One thing we learn about this virus is [that] a lot of [is] unpredictable, and we and our players, together with their union, look at the data every day. If there was anything to change that was beyond the scope of what we play for, [then] we would definitely rethink our plans. “
It is unclear how many positive tests are required for the NBA to consider suspension.
The occurrence of a small or otherwise expected number of COVID-19 cases does not require a decision to suspend or cancel the resumption of the season, the health and safety document said.