The NBA and the Players’ Association are looking into quick blood tests for the novel coronavirus which would make it more viable for the league to resume the season, Baxter Holmes of ESPN reports.
The league and its players have been assessing the viability of multiple blood-testing devices that could provide accurate results within a matter of minutes. That process would be a critical first step toward returning to action, though commissioner Adam Silver said on Monday that no decision on resuming play would be made until at least next month.
The “diabetes-like” blood test can be conducted with the prick of a finger and yield results within 15 minutes. Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories have begun shipping out the rapid-response tests, which can deliver results in 5-13 minutes. However, they have yet to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Sources told Holmes that the assessment of utilizing these tests is still in the exploratory phase. Finding ways to rapidly test for COVID-19 is the crucial path for sports leagues to resume play in the coming weeks and months, Holmes adds.
However, the NBA and its players are also aware that even if such rapid testing devices become available, health care workers and others tasked with saving lives should have priority to them.