The NBA and National Basketball Players Association announced that 16 players have tested positive for the coronavirus among the 302 tests that were administered on Tuesday.
Any player who tested positive will remain in self-isolation until satisfying public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and having been cleared by a physician.
There are 22 teams, including the 76ers, gearing up to resume the NBA’s season at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla. Teams will depart on July 7, 8, or 9, and the first games are scheduled to be played July 30.
A Sixers official said that the team is following league protocol and not sharing any information about the recent testing.
In March, the Sixers announced that three members of the organization had tested positive for COVID-19. Those three members have recovered, according to the Sixers.
During an afternoon conference call with reporters, NBA commissioner Adam Silver did say that “none of the 16 were seriously ill in any way, and that was also a big relief for us.”
While saying that one positive test is too many, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts on the same conference call, said, “I’m somewhat relieved the number was not higher.”
Silver had a similar outlook. “I was relieved the number came in roughly where we expected it based on their age group and similar testing in other situations from other leagues and other industries ...” he said.
Silver also said that in the Orlando bubble “there will be daily testing, at least to start.”
The NBA commissioner admitted that everything concerning the virus is fluid, especially with many states showing increases in positive tests. Through Thursday, there have been 2,374,282 total cases in the U.S. according to the CDC and 121,809 deaths.
Florida continues to see a spike in positive tests. According to the Florida Department of Health, on Thursday there were 8,942 new positive COVID cases statewide, a state record.
Silver acknowledged any scenario is possible if the virus spreads significantly.
“Of course, if the larger question you’re asking, if we were to have significant spread of coronavirus through our community, that ultimately might lead us to stopping,” he said. “But we’re working closely with the Players’ Association, with Disney and public health officials in Florida as to what that line should be, and it hasn’t been precisely designed.”