In addition to the anxiety currently plaguing the NBA amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, several players who previously tested positive for the coronavirus have tested positive for the second time, sources told ESPN.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines “reinfection” as a person who contracts an infection, recovers, and then becomes infected again. Studies are ongoing on how long immunity can last, but the CDC says they expect some reinfections from coronavirus.
The NBA has announced more than 100 positive tests since last summer, but the actual number since March is believed to be significantly higher. Several teams have more than 10 players who tested positive at some point during the past nine months, sources said.
Because testing was less available and there were higher false positive rates early in the pandemic, there is some uncertainty as to the number of players who had true positives in early 2020, especially during the close of the season. league of three months.
It is possible that some players who tested positive for the virus but were asymptomatic months ago were false positives. Some players were tested for antibody levels to determine their level of immunity. But there is currently no league-wide procedure for conducting periodic testing.
Team and league medics evaluate every positive test and every exposed player on a case-by-case basis because the nature of the virus is still uncertain, league officials said. For example, players who tested positive in the last 90 days are sometimes treated differently than players who may have tested positive last summer due to the way the virus could still show up on their system.
The league’s office, the National Basketball Players Association, teams and agents have been in talks in recent days to consider protocol changes to limit the spread that has caused the postponement of three games. The league has already placed players who previously had the virus (Kevin Durant of Brooklyn and Bam Adebayo of Miami are two examples) in health and safety quarantines for one week after being exposed to an infected person for fear of reinfection or spread of the virus.
According to current CDC guidance, the duration of immunity after a Covid-19 infection is not yet understood. Some reinfections are expected, based on knowledge of other coronaviruses, but are believed to be rare.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon contributed to this story.