Report: NBA seeks game-day PCR testing in every city

Amid a week that has seen the NBA postpone eight games due to COVID-19 issues, the league reportedly intends to strengthen its testing protocols.

The NBA sent a memo to all teams stating that it hopes to add polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for the coronavirus that can be processed on the day of every game in all 28 NBA cities, ESPN reported Wednesday night.

The plan would see all players on each team and the referees, up to 40 individuals, give samples the morning of each game. Results would be available at least an hour before game time.

According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, PCR testing is more accurate than rapid testing, but the turnaround time for results can be lengthy if local labs aren’t available for processing.

According to ESPN, NBA players and refs currently must have a negative PCR test from the day prior to a game and a negative rapid test on game day to be eligible to take the floor.

Earlier Wednesday, the NBA announced that 16 new players tested positive for COVID-19 among the 497 players who had been tested in the past week.

The NBA’s recent spate of coronavirus-related postponements began with a Miami Heat-Boston Celtics game that was scheduled for Sunday. The New Orleans Pelicans-Dallas Mavericks game slated for Monday was postponed, as was the Celtics-Chicago Bulls game scheduled for Tuesday.

Three games were lost from the schedule Wednesday: Utah Jazz-Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic-Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks-Phoenix Suns. Two games that were due to be played Friday already have been scrapped: Wizards-Detroit Pistons and Golden State Warriors-Suns.


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