NBA marks third week without player testing positive for coronavirus
HSS sports medicine surgeon and medical director of the Brooklyn Nets Riley J. Williams, III, MD, discussed the changes and protocols implemented by the NBA to combat COVID-19 within the league, including the creation of the bubble.
“The policy and the creation of the bubble involved league officials and the medical staff of the individual teams trying to prioritize player safety, the judicious utilization of testing and trying to come up with novel protocols that we could use in order to make sure everyone going in was COVID free and then trying our best to keep it that way," explained Dr. Wlliams. "It's a combination of player willingness and compliance, honestly, and them wanting to be there and wanting to carry this off. And the league and teams coming up with some structure that would allow the players to be able to remain in the bubble, be safe and execute these games.”
He added, “It was really important to create some entry point guidelines with regard to who was going into the bubble. Everyone has to be quarantined on the way in, that’s an excess of a week, if you leave the bubble and go back, you have to be quarantined. If you have any kind of exposure, it is a longer quarantine process. It’s super strict.” Dr. Williams noted, “It seems a little draconian, but it's really what's necessary, and then once you're in the bubble, you can't leave. You can't even exit your hotel to pick up food outside. Everything is delivered. And it has to be strict. The infectious nature and the way by which this virus is spread is so contagious that they have to keep these guardrails in place in order to successfully carry out what they are doing, and knock on wood, that's what's happening."
Dr. Williams concluded, “A few players have had to come and go for personal reasons and for some medical reasons, but on a whole, most of the players there, if you have a mild injury, there's the ability to receive medical treatment and imaging. Everything that would normally be carried off in a regular NBA season is available there from food, training, practicing, medical care, etc. it is all within the bubble.”
This segment aired during the 5pm evening news hour on August 8, 2020. Watch the full segment at Foxnews.com.