With over 322 players who joined the National Basketball Authority (NBA) ‘bubble’ in Orlando, Florida for the season restart, only two players tested to have contracted the coronavirus. This is only less than one percent. Meanwhile, it was also reported that two players broke the quarantine who were likewise in quarantine.
On Monday, the NBA announced that across the 22 teams who arrived at the Walt Disney World for the resume of the interrupted season, two athletes are positive with COVID-19. As per the NBA, those who were confirmed to have contracted the virus already left the campus and are also in quarantine. The news came with only a few weeks before the season reopens by July 30.
The names of the athletes who tested positive were not disclosed by the NBA, but the organization assured that those who were positive never left quarantine. A total of 21 players tested positive since July 1 prior to departing to Orlando and are consequently in quarantine.
The statement of the NBA reads: “Of the 322 players tested for COVID-19 since arriving on the NBA Campus July 7, two have returned confirmed positive tests while in quarantine. Those players never cleared quarantine, and have since left the Campus to isolate at home or in isolation housing.”
Temporary timeout for violators
Similarly, as reported by CNN based on the reports they obtained, Sacramento Kings’ forward player Richaun Holmes and Houston Rockets’s player Bruno Caboclo both violated the quarantine protocols set by the NBA to prevent contaminating the ‘bubble’ with the coronavirus.
According to Holmes, he has already left the bubble for self-isolation. Writing on Twitter, the athlete told: “I briefly and accidentally crossed the NBA campus line to pick up a food delivery” and it occurred during their initial quarantine upon arrival. He also went on to apologize for breaking the protocols. He has eight days left to be quarantined before joining his team again. On the other hand, Caboclo also left his room during the same period. Similarly, he has to be in quarantine as well with eight days remaining.
The NBA ‘Bubble’
As per the NBA in the same statement, they relayed that prior to the arrival of teams in their ‘bubble,’ 19 of their athletes are also positive with the coronavirus. “These players are staying in their home markets and recovering until they are cleared under CDC guidelines and NBA rules for leaving home isolation and joining the Campus.” Among those infected is Russell Westbrook of Houston Rockets who is currently in quarantine before rejoining his teammates in Orlando.
Players should test negative twice before they can return with their teams.
The resume of the NBA season hinges on its success to keep the virus away from their ‘bubble-like’ facilities at Disney, by providing an isolated environment for the athletes throughout the rest of the season. Families were also allowed to go with the players in the Disney facilities, where the athletes are also set to train and do practice for their games.
Guard player of Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry also commented on the strict protocols imposed to them on the bubble. “I think our protocols and our health and safety measures have been top-notch. I think this thing will work perfectly,” Lowry said.
The season was on hiatus for several months due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.