Concern throughout the NBA grows as coronavirus cases peak in Florida


The increase in the number of cases of coronavirus in Florida, which has registered a record Saturday for the third day in a row, have raised concerns in many corners of the NBA, the players of the team managers, the league office himself, as he prepares to resume play in Orlando next month.

Florida added 4 049 new cases on Saturday, which broke the previous day’s record of 3,822 game on Friday. All in all, the state has established daily records of cases in seven of the last 10 days, and is approaching 94,000 infections — becoming a national hot spot with Texas and Arizona, states that are also seeing the surge in the number of cases.

In at least one recent call with a team of high-level executives, commissioner of the NBA Adam Silver has acknowledged the surging numbers in Florida. Several team sources described the general tone of this appeal, including the issues of Money on it, like tense. Another called the Silver tone resolute but dark. “He expressed his determination to go on — a confidence in the NBA’s bubble concept — while recognizing the seriousness of the outbreak of coronavirus, according to sources.


The National Basketball Players Association held a virtual town hall with the players this week, and responded to concerns about the Florida case, several sources familiar with the case told ESPN. The players have raised the fact that Walt Disney World, staff members who do not reside in the NBA campus — including the hotel maid — do not be subjected to any coronavirus tests, according to sources. A mitigating factor that has been cited, a source said: Much of the increase in cases in areas other than Orlando.

South Florida remains the state most affected region, nearly half of the total number of cases in the state, and the Miami-Dade County alone, nearly 25,000 cases.

Walt Disney World, which will house the 22 teams, is in great part in the Orange County and Osceola County-both located in central Florida, a region that has not been hit nearly as hard. Orange County has about 4 500 cases, and Osceola County has reported approximately 1 000.

NBA spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN that the league is ” closely monitoring data in Florida and Orange County and will continue to work in collaboration with the National Basketball Players Association, public health officials and medical experts about our plans. ”

The increase in numbers, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts told ESPN: “Can’t say I’m surprised, given the state of the approach of the re-opening. Of course, we are clearly monitoring the situation. While we take a little comfort in knowing that our players will not travel, in trade, to get to Orlando, that access to campus is very limited and, of course, all other health and safety protocols in place, the numbers to keep our attention. If necessary, add other restrictions in respect of these third parties having access to the campus, we will seek to implement. ”

Roberts added that ” third parties “, it means Disney staff members who deals with the hotels where teams are staying, or to provide other services on campus.

She said it remains to be seen what are the restrictions — if any — may be possible given that many Disney employees are unionized.

This sentiment was echoed in interviews with several managers of teams across the league, including several directors general.

Said an official of the sports coach from another team who will be involved in: “All that we know about Disney — and we’ve read over the years, is that you don’t realize how many thousands of people work there, right? This is the magic behind all of this-the amount of personnel and quantity of services they provide. And they are in and out of the bubble. ”

The league in its 113-page health guidelines sent to teams this week, has mentioned several precautions are designed to reduce and even eliminate the contact between the members of the staff of Disney and the NBA staff. Disney will assign staff to specific hotels rather than having to rotate between the hotels, the document states. They service rooms only once a week, and only when the players and staff are not present in the rooms. Disney staff wearing personal protective equipment, including masks, and to maintain the social distance if they are in the same space with the NBA, the staff, the guidelines of the state.

Team bus drivers should be selected through a non-Disney vendor and may be subject to some coronavirus testing, a source close to the case told ESPN.

Several epidemiologists praised the NBA’s general plan talks with ESPN over the past two weeks, even while recognizing that there was no way for the NBA to keep a true ” bubble “. They said that in the absence of power to regulate the conditions of work and the medical follow-up of the Disney staff, the NBA had taken appropriate measures to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus from the league staff. Fully to eliminate the threat is not possible, these experts have told ESPN.

Most of the teams are not scheduled to arrive in Orlando until July 7, 8, or 9, with the exception of Toronto, which is expected to arrive in June 12-22. And no games should take place until 30 July. Given the weekslong gap between the most recent reports in Florida and the resumption of the season, several senior members of the team and other team officials said they are hoping the number of cases of coronavirus will start to decline.

By the NBA, the health and safety of the protocol, the players should begin to be tested, on the 23rd of June, and the team of leaders and other members of the staff told ESPN that they expect some positive results when the results arrive. Some of the leaders and members of the staff speculated that it could be preferable to obtain the positive cases of the way now, because players can quarantine before going to Orlando. Others point out that the positive cases will decline their willingness to play games.

ESPN is the property of The Walt Disney Company.


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