The NBA announced three Rockets tested positive for coronavirus or had an inconclusive result. Kenyon Martin Jr. and Ben McLemore tested positive, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Apparently, those two are the only cases in the league’s latest round of testing.
Of the 558 players tested for COVID-19 since Dec. 16, two new players have returned confirmed positive tests.
That’s good news for the third Houston player who apparently had an inconclusive result and the four other Rockets in quarantine due to contact tracing. This means they haven’t since tested positive. Houston – including James Harden – should be good to play the Trail Blazers on Saturday.
The NBA’s protocols seem to be working. Outside a bubble, the league won’t completely stop players from contracting coronavirus. But the numbers remain low.
In initial testing this season – which accounted for players getting the virus before joining their teams – the positivity rate was 8.8%. That dropped to 1.5% in the second phase, as players became more ingrained with their teams. Now it’s 0.2% and 0.4% in the latest rounds of testing.
For perspective, COVID-19 Projections estimates 2.8% of people in the United States were infected with coronavirus on Dec. 9 (the most recent date available).
On the other hand, at least 113 NBA players – and almost certainly many more – have contracted coronavirus. At a certain point, the number of players who can get coronavirus runs low (assuming resistance for those who’ve already recovered).