NBA return may still be stopped by ‘significant spread’ of COVID-19, says Silver
The NBA’s season restart in Orlando which begins on July 30 may still be cancelled or stopped if there is a “significant spread” of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the area.
Talking to TIME, NBA commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged that there is nothing certain in the situation the league is in right now, and there are risks to take for the season to be finished.
[It’s] never ‘full steam no matter what,’” says Silver in a Talk that aired Tuesday. “One thing we’re learning about this virus is that much is unpredictable.”
In NBA’s testing last June, 16 of 302 players tested positive for the virus. Although there still is some time to recover and test negative after, the league knows nothing is 100% safe even when already in the bubble site in Orlando.
All games will be played inside the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex owned by Disney.
Silver already stated earlier that if someone tests positive while the games are already on going, that player will have to be quarantined.
As for what a “significant spread” of COVID-19 in the area means:
“Honestly … I’m not sure,” Silver says. “We have a panel of scientists, doctors, experts that are working with us. We’re going to see as we go.” The NBA, he says, will be constantly monitoring the data. “Certainly, if we have a lot of cases, we’re going to stop,” he says. “You cannot run from this virus. I am absolutely convinced that it will be safer on this campus than off this campus, because there aren’t many other situations I’m aware of where there’s mass testing of asymptomatic employees. So in some ways this is maybe a model for how other industries ultimately open.”
Aside from the NBA, football leagues in Europe as well as the UFC have been continuing to operate.
There are over 140,000 coronavirus cases in the state of Florida.