Coronavirus: NBA announces that 25 players out of 351 have tested positive for COVID-19

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Before the NBA 2019-2020 season resumed in Orlando in July, NBA teams began testing players for the coronavirus last week. There was a new update on Thursday, when the league ad that 25 of the 351 players tested since June 23 were positive for COVID-19; this equals 7.1 percent of all players. According to the league, any player who tests positive will remain in solitary confinement until he meets public health protocols for termination of solitary confinement and has been authorized by a doctor.

Among the players who tested positive last week were Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Pacers goalkeeper Malcolm Brogdon, Nets players DeAndre Jordan and Spencer Dinwiddie and Kings Buddy Hield players Alex Len and Jabari Parker. Other players such as Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell and Marcus Smart tested positive for the virus in March and have since been eliminated.

Despite the fact that COVID-19 cases are booming in Florida, the league still plans to resume its season at Disney World in Orlando in late July. Teams involved in the restart will go there, play eight “classification matches” starting July 30, and then begin a typical playoff format that will culminate in October. After the season resumes, the league will conduct COVID-19 tests every night. Any player who tests positive at this point must quarantine for at least seven days and obtain two consecutive negative test results before being allowed to resume action. Any player who gets coronavirus – or gets injured – in Orlando can be replaced, but the replaced player will not be able to return to the bubble environment.

Between the coronavirus, concerns about the quarantine situation and the desire to continue fighting for social justice, there are all kinds of valid reasons for players to be wary of going to Orlando, and as such, players are not contractually required to participate. If a team decides that a player is at high health risk, they can be excused from Orlando and will still receive their full salary. All other players are free to refuse to play and will not breach their contract. However, if they voluntarily decide not to play, they do not get paid for these missed games.

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