OKC Thunder: COVID-19 tests begin every other day as of June 23

OKC Thunder advantage? A detailed view of the dimpled NBA logo on a basketball. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder advantage? A detailed view of the dimpled NBA logo on a basketball. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder players and their peers will receive less intrusive nasal tests as league nears restart

Recalling the night of March 11th when the OKC Thunder and Utah Jazz was postponed the two teams took to their locker rooms. What occurred next is the Thunder were all given temperature checks and sent home.

For the Jazz, the situation was far different and much more onerous. The Jazz were made to wear masks and gloves and await medical professionals who came to test the entire team and staff for COVID-19. This was due to Rudy Gobert testing positive. What ensued was each of the players received nasal swabs.

If you’ve caught the feedback regarding these tests the swabs are inserted far into the nasal cavity.  Resembling a huge Q-Tip the nasopharyngeal swab is highly uncomfortable.

OKC Thunder will receive tests every other day starting June 23:

A video of former OKC Thunder big man Enes Kanter shows precisely how uncomfortable the experience is and how deep the nasal swab is inserted.


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It is understandable why this isn’t a test player would be keen to experience every other day or a daily basis. The NBA investigated other options and Zach Lowe reported the coronavirus test methodology the league is opting to use is a nasal swab which is expected to be far less invasive.

"The memo, which was obtained by ESPN, says players and “essential team staff” — any coaches, trainers or medical personnel who will be working with players directly, or will be part of the travel party to Orlando, Florida — will be administered both a COVID-19 test and an antibody test on June 23."

Lowe also notes that testing will begin every other day starting on June 23rd prior to the June 30th in-market training camps. Two days prior to leaving for Orlando sometime between July 7th and 9th, those tests will be completed daily.

Perhaps with the six weeks remaining until games begin there will be advances made in testing. As Thunderous Intentions noted two months ago rapid response tests were being developed in Canada and the United States. The Canadian company Spartan is developing a test that uses a throat swab and returns results in an hour or less.

Of note,  the NBA made sure the tests they use will not in any way take away from tests required for the public.

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