The Los Angeles Lakers and the rest of the NBA continue to navigate the world burdened by the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic, searching for ways to try and salvage the 2019-20 season that was suspended almost two months ago. It has been reported that teams will be reopening their practice facilities for individual workouts (assuming their local municipal governments have allowed for a state-wide reopening phase), but it still wasn’t clear what type of testing the organizations would have available. To start ramping up NBA operations, teams have to have access to quick, efficient testing to ensure that the individuals involved with whatever basketball operations going are, in fact, negative for coronavirus.
Organizations such as Magic, Lakers and Clippers are expected to be among those able to conduct coronavirus tests of every player and staff member re-entering facilities for workouts — regardless of whether they're experiencing symptoms. ESPN Story: https://t.co/tFrxQ5Z8Qb
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2020
It has now been reported by Adrian Wojnarowski and ESPN that the Lakers will be able to test every player and staff member that comes into the facilities for individual workouts (the Los Angeles Clippers and Orlando Magic also reportedly have the ability). These testings can be performed whether or not the individual is showing symptoms or not. That last point is big, as the NBA was wondering whether or not their local governments would have the medical infrastructure to allow the NBA to take so many tests for themselves. Adrian Wojnarowski explains this more from his report.
The NBA recently informed teams of a “limited exception” to guidelines that forbid the testing of asymptomatic individuals in this preliminary phase of players returning to practice facilities. Essentially, the NBA will approve a written authorization from a local health authority that confirms a “robust testing program in place for at-risk health care workers” in the team’s community, sources said.
We will see what more developments happen in the NBA’s pursuit to finish this season, but this is definitely a positive step. However, all NBA teams will have to have this ability to do so. After that the NBA will need to create and implement a nationwide plan to start games again, and there will be a lot of research that will have to go into that to even get near that step. There’s still a huge divide between where we are at now and watching Lakers games again, but at least the players and staff will be able to start working again once the Lakers can re-enter their facilities on May 16th.