Apparently, none of the hundreds of players who spent their All-Star break elsewhere register a new positive test, either.
Of the 465 players tested for COVID-19 since March 3, two new players have returned confirmed positive tests.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The two positive tests occurred before the All-Star break. No positive tests among NBA players so far since the break started March 5. https://t.co/zYHm2m0bEJ
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 10, 2021
This is a shocking result.
NBA players had generally contracted coronavirus at far higher rates when away from their teams. The All-Star break gave players the opportunity to travel and live outside strict league-imposed protocols.
So, how did players avoid coronavirus cases?
NBA players have tested positive for the coronavirus in at least 162 cases – and almost certainly many more. Perhaps some had natural immunity to protect them if exposed.
Coronavirus rates are falling across the country as vaccinations and natural immunity increase and the weather warms, allowing people to more easily interact outside (where transmission is far less likely). That decreases the odds someone an NBA player interacts with has coronavirus.
Players, after a recent uptick in cases, could be taking distancing and masking best-practices more seriously.
Luck also could have been a factor. Sometimes, someone engages in high-risk behavior and avoids coronavirus. Sometimes, someone engages in only low-risk behavior and contracts coronavirus.
It’s also possible more cases are coming from the All-Star break. Someone who contracts coronavirus might not test positive for several days. The Wizards, Grizzlies, Spurs and Mavericks are ending their All-Star break today. Other teams won’t end theirs until tomorrow.
But if the All-Star break – which began last Thursday and Friday for teams – were going to produce the high case count feared, there probably would have been more than zero positive tests so far.
Hopefully, there aren’t issues with players returning from All-Star break with coronavirus, initially testing negative then spreading it. Next week’s testing disclosure should complete the All-Star-break picture.
For now, these results are encouraging.