The CDC defines “re-infection” as an infected person, recovering and then becoming infected again later. Studies are ongoing on the duration of immunity, but the CDC says it expects re-infections from the coronavirus.
The NBA has announced more than 100 positive tests since last summer, but the actual number since March is believed to be significantly higher. Several teams have more than 10 players who have tested positive at some point in the past nine months, sources told ESPN.
Since testing was less available and there were higher rates of false positives at the start of the pandemic, there is some level of uncertainty as to how many players had true positive cases in early 2020. , especially during the league’s three-month shutdown.
It is possible that some players who tested positive for the virus but asymptomatic months ago were false positives. Some players have been tested for antibody levels to determine their level of immunity, but there is currently no league-wide procedure in place to regularly test these levels.
Team and league medics are evaluating each positive test and player exposure on a case-by-case basis, as the nature of the virus is still unclear, league officials said. For example, players who have tested positive in the previous 90 days are sometimes treated differently from players who may have tested positive last summer due to how the virus could still appear in their system.
The league office, the National Basketball Players Association, teams and agents have had discussions in recent days to consider protocol changes to limit the spread that resulted in the postponement of three games. The league has already placed players who previously had the virus – Kevin Durant of Brooklyn and Bam Adebayo of Miami are two examples – in week-long health and safety quarantines after exposure to an infected person for fear of reinfection. or spread of the virus.
According to current CDC guidelines, the duration of immunity after COVID-19 infection is not yet understood. Some re-infections, based on knowledge of other coronaviruses, are expected but are considered rare.
ESPN reporter Tim MacMahon contributed to this story.