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NBA reports zero Covid-19 positives inside its bubble

Center Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder training in Orlando, Florida, for the restart of the 2019-20 National Basketball Association season.(Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

The National Basketball Players Association and National Basketball Players Association said there were zero positive Covid-19 results from the 346 players tested since results were last announced on July 13, showing new evidence the quarantined environment to restart play in Orlando, Florida, is working. 

The results follow a prior batch of tests from inside the league’s “bubble” at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex showing two of 322 players testing positive between July 7 and July 13. 

The NBA will resume play July 30 after a hiatus of more than four months due to the pandemic. Intersquad scrimmages will run from July 22 to July 28. But as those events draw closer on the calendar, the test results and overall environment in Florida are boosting confidence.

NBA executives including commissioner Adam Silver have consistently said the conditions inside the quarantined environment are safer for players than virtually anywhere else. And Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams said any complaints from players about living inside the bubble are misplaced.

“It’s all good, mate,” said Adams, a native New Zealander. “Let’s be clear, mate: this is not Syria. You know what I mean? It’s not that hard. It’s not that difficult. We’re living in a bloody resort. Everyone’s got a complaint. Everyone’s got their own preferences, but it’s not anything too serious. Just a bit of dry food here and there, get bored every now and then. But it’s all good.”

The Covid-19 situation for Major League Soccer, also playing at the Wide World of Sports complex, has also calmed down dramatically after FC Dallas and Nashville SC were both forced earlier this month to withdraw from the MLS is Back Tournament after virus outbreaks within those clubs. 

But MLS on July 20 also reported zero newly confirmed positive tests from a group of 1,106 individuals tested during the previous two days. Those results followed similar reports from the league of zero newly confirmed positives over the past week.

The zero positive Covid-19 tests in the latest NBA and MLS reports differ significantly from the rest of Florida, which remains one of the leading hotspots in the United States for virus cases.