Speaking to reporters today on a virtual news conference, NBA commissioner Adam Silver admitted that the league’s level of concern about the coronavirus situation in Florida has increased along with the number of cases in the area. However, Silver said that the NBA’s campus plan is designed to be isolated from cases in the surrounding community (Twitter link via Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel).
Of course, the NBA’s “campus environment” in Walt Disney World won’t be a true bubble, since Disney staffers will be permitted to come and go and could bring the virus in with them. According to Silver, the NBA is considering extra precautions to protect its players and staffers, including increased COVID-19 testing for those Disney employees who are in the same room as players (Twitter link via Winderman).
Here are a few more highlights from Silver’s conference call today:
- The NBA will proceed with its season even if some individual players test positive for the coronavirus, and the league doesn’t have a formal policy in place for how it would handle a major outbreak of COVID-19 within its Disney campus. However, Silver said today, “If we were to have significant spread of coronavirus through our community, that ultimately might lead us to stopping (the season)“ (Twitter links via Mike Singer of the Denver Post and Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports).
- Along similar lines, Silver said that an individual coronavirus case will essentially be treated like an injury, but acknowledged that a severe outbreak within a single team could force the league to change that approach (Twitter links via Winderman).
- Responding to an ESPN report that said the NBA will use local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to secure its Disney campus, Silver stressed that those agencies won’t be present within the campus (Twitter link via David Aldridge of The Athletic). That doesn’t contradict the ESPN report, which noted that those law enforcement agencies would only be used outside of the campus to keep it secure.
- According to Silver, it wasn’t the NBA’s first choice to resume its season on a “closed campus,” but data on the spread of the coronavirus forced the league’s hand (Twitter link via Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press).
- Silver confirmed there will be daily COVID-19 testing on the Orlando campus, “at least to start” (Twitter link via ESPN’s Andrew Lopez).
- Addressing the 16 positive tests among players this week, Silver said that none of those players is seriously ill (Twitter link via Rod Beard of The Detroit News).