NBA Says 9 More Players Test Positive For Coronavirus

John Raoux, AP

A sign marking the entrance to ESPN's Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World in Florida. The NBA is planning to restart the season at the complex with 22 teams later this month.

The NBA and the league’s players union announced Thursday nine more players have tested positive for the coronavirus. The news comes as the league is scheduled to resume games later this month.

“In tests conducted of 344 NBA players between June 24-29, an additional nine players have tested positive for the coronavirus,” the NBA and National Basketball Players Association said in a joint statement.

The total number of players who have tested positive for the coronavirus is now 25. Put another way, that’s 7% of the league.

NBA team staff members have fared better, with 10 positive tests out of 884.

According to the league’s coronavirus rules, players or team personnel receiving positive tests will remain in self-isolation “until they satisfy public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and have been cleared by a physician.”

After being shut down since March, the NBA is slated to tip off again on July 30.

The 22 teams participating in the season reboot are scheduled to begin arriving next week at a “bubble” location in Orlando, Fla., for training. Players will stay at three Disney hotels, and the games will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

ESPN reported that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said this week that he is “pretty confident” the league is on track to restart on time this month.

“If there were something to change that was outside of the scope of what we are playing for, certainly we would revisit our plans,” Silver said, according to ESPN. “We are testing daily. We haven’t put a precise number on it, but if we were to see a large number of cases and see spread in our community, that would of course be a cause to stop as well.”

Silver’s comments come as Orange County, where the sports complex is located, and Florida overall have seen recent upticks in confirmed coronavirus cases.

As NPR reported, Florida’s Department of Health said the state set a new daily record on Thursday, with 10,109 confirmed cases. Less than a week ago, the state had surpassed a record of 9,585 confirmed cases, set on Saturday.

ESPN also reported Thursday that the NBA is working on a second “bubble” in Chicago for the eight non-playoff teams not invited to compete in Florida.

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