NBA changes protocol for players whose COVID-19 tests are inconclusive

Jul 31, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs kneel around a Black Lives Matters logo on the court before a NBA basketball game at the Visa Athletic Center in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA is making an adjustment to its protocol for players who return inconclusive tests for COVID-19, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Details on new NBA protocol for inconclusive COVID-19 tests

The reason the NBA is making a change is so that players can possibly make a quicker return to game action if their test comes back inconclusive.

Per Wojnarowski, if a player is asymptomatic and tests negative on a first retest following an inconclusive result, he would be able to play in his next game. This is provided he has another negative test within 60 minutes of that game’s start time.

He notes that, on average, every 5 in 1,000 tests can be inconclusive.

Wojnarowski also provided a bit more context about why the NBA is making this change. He shared teams are concerned that a player could end up missing a key playoff game due to an inconclusive test.

NBA Orlando Bubble working well so far

To this point, the NBA’s bubble in Orlando is working. The last time the NBAPA announced its league-wide testing results, it shared that there were zero positive tests out of the 344 players in the bubble.

It was the second consecutive week that the league boasted zero positive

Recently, the Sacramento Kings had a player with an inconclusive test. After two consecutive negative tests during two days of quarantine, that player was allowed to return to the team. The new protocol would allow for the potential of cutting that time in half.