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Report: NBA engaging with Covid-19 testing providers as central component of season restart

The most important step in restarting a sports league in a pandemic is testing. We break down the latest NBA news, as the league is reaching out to testing providers.

Low-angle view of sign for medical testing lab company LabCorp in Lafayette, California, April 4, 2019. Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Professional sports leagues in America and around the world are working on plans to restart their sports, and a central component of any restart is Covid-19 testing. Every health and safety protocol discussed to date has included regular testing of the athletes, coaches, and pertinent personnel.

The NBA is working on its own restart plan, and the team is taking steps toward figuring out the testing aspect. The league has informed teams it has begun discussions with national coronavirus testing providers, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The league has reached out to BioReference Laboratories, LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics, and Vault Health/RUCDR Infinite Biologics at Rutgers, and is asking teams to create accounts with each company, per Charania.

The league has a lot to sort out, including its rumored Disney World idea. The league has been conservative to date in its approach to a return, but as June arrives, a decision will need to be made about the 2019-20 season. There is room on the back end to add dates through the summer and into the fall, but at some point they have to decide how much competition there will be to close out this season and prevent a significant delay on the 2020-21 season. Figuring out the testing aspect of any plan is arguably the most important step.