The LA Clippers haven’t yet announced when they plan to reopen their practice facility for player workouts. Whenever they do, ESPN reports that the team will be able to test players and staff for the coronavirus, even if individuals are asymptomatic.
As team facilities reopen in the coming days and weeks, organizations such as the Orlando Magic, LA Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be among the teams allowed to conduct coronavirus tests of every player and staff member entering facilities for individual workouts — regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms, sources said.
The NBA recently informed teams of a “limited exception” to guidelines that forbid the testing of asymptomatic individuals in this preliminary phase of players returning to practice facilities. Essentially, the NBA will approve a written authorization from a local health authority that confirms a “robust testing program in place for at-risk health care workers” in the team’s community, sources said.
This statement comes after Los Angeles County made free testing available for all residents, not just symptomatic individuals or front-line workers. The league was wary of having healthy players receive tests when testing capacity was limited around the country, similar to what happened when the Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz, and other teams were tested right after the league suspended operations on March 11. Now that everyone in the county has the same access, the Clippers aren’t necessarily receiving special treatment.
The Athletic reported that the Clippers were part of a contingent of California teams working to convince Governor Gavin Newsom to include NBA training centers as part of phase 2 of the state’s reopening. The Kings and Lakers have thus far announced the reopening of their facilities on May 11 and May 16, respectively, while the Clippers are still in limbo.
What happens beyond this step is unclear. Only two teams are opening practice facilities today, May 8, despite permission for nearly half of the league to do so. However, the increased availability of tests could make organizations more comfortable with slowly making progress towards resuming play.