NBA exploring rapid coronavirus testing as first step toward possible return

The NBA is taking an important step in its preparation for a return.

The league and its Players Association have been looking jointly into the viability of multiple blood-testing devices for the coronavirus, according to ESPN. Testing is seen as a key step in restarting the season at some point.

The hope is the test can provide an accurate reading in minutes to help insure the safety of players, staff and others. The test, according to the report, would likely involve the prick of a finger. Abbott Laboratories is already shipping Food and Drug Administration approved rapid-response tests across the U.S., according to the Washington Post. Those tests can deliver results in five to 13 minutes.

ESPN described the NBA’s inquiry into this area as in the exploratory phase.

“While our foremost priority remains everyone’s health and well-being, the league office continues to evaluate all options for a return to play,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN.

The NBA will likely have to time to figure out all of the steps and what’s available to the league. Commissioner Adam Silver said Monday during an interview with Ernie Johnson on the NBA’s Twitter account that he does not expect any decisions to be made about the current season until at least May.

“Essentially, what I’ve told my folks over the last week is that we just should just accept that, at least for the month of April, we won’t be in a position to make any decisions,” Silver said. “And I don’t think that necessarily means on May 1 we will be.”

The NBA season has been suspended since March 11 when Jazz forward Rudy Colbert tested positive for COVID-19.

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