The National Basketball Association resumed coronavirus testing this week and the results have not been great. Yesterday, the league announced that 48 of the league's 546 players tested positive for the virus. Luckily, the league's preemptive testing schedule will allow players to abide by CDC guidelines and quarantine for ten days before the start of the preseason on December 11.
Moving away from a bubble-like atmosphere, the league will have to be weary of the coronavirus throughout the regular season and playoffs. While the league has not publicly shared its plans, it is expected that all teams will begin the season with few to no fans in the stands. The Toronto Raptors even had to relocate to Tampa Bay, Florida because of Canada's COVID-19 protocols.
However, the NBA is not alone. The United States is mourning the worst day of the pandemic yet. On December 2, the country experienced the loss of more than 2,800 people and recorded nearly 200,000 positive COVID-19 cases. Adding on, medical facilities are being pushed to the brink as more than 100,000 Americans are currently hospitalized for the virus. The American Ambulance Association says the increase in COVID-19 related calls has nearly pushed the 9-1-1 service to a "breaking point."
Despite pandemic concerns, the league will continue to push forward in the safest manner possible. The league will kick off its preseason with a nationally television matchup between the Sacramento Kings and Portland Trailblazers. Eleven days later, the league will kick off the regular season with a doubleheader beginning with the Golden State Warriors and Brooklyn Nets. Then, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles will cap off the opening night with a showdown in the Staples Center.
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