NBA EXTENDS COMMUNITY TESTING PROGRAM AS PART OF 2019-20 SEASON RESTART IN ORLANDO
NEW YORK, July 29, 2020 – The NBA announced today a new community testing program providing thousands of no-cost COVID-19 PCR tests in Orlando, Fla. and team markets nationwide. The program, which is a part of NBA Together, the league’s global community and social engagement campaign that aims to support, engage, educate and inspire youth, families and fans in response to the coronavirus pandemic, tipped off on July 6 and will run through the month of August. The Health and Safety Protocols for the Resumption of the 2019-20 NBA Season, which were finalized with the National Basketball Players Association in June, included plans for several community testing programs.
Public health data has made clear that the impacts of the coronavirus are most concentrated in historically marginalized communities of color where access to testing is scarce. To meet this need, the NBA collaborated with UnidosUS and the National Urban League as well as several private laboratories to identify communities most in need and provide access to no-cost testing programs in addition to communicating public health information to community members.
In partnership with BioReference Laboratories, the league’s testing provider on the NBA campus in Orlando, Fla., the NBA is providing free, daily COVID-19 PCR tests at a mobile collection site at the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets. Those interested can register for an appointment by completing a brief survey before being redirected to a scheduling tool to select a convenient date and time for the COVID-19 test. Please visit Appointments.BioReference.com/NBAOrlando to complete the survey and for additional details regarding appointments, transportation and scheduling.
As part of the NBA’s community testing program, the league, Orlando Magic and Orlando Sports & Entertainment District hosted a pop-up testing event on Saturday, July 11 at the Geico Garage at the Amway Center, providing hundreds of drive-through and walk-up tests to members of surrounding communities. Earlier this month, the NBA identified Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in 29 team markets nationwide and provided additional tests funded by the NBA. In total, these programs are providing thousands of tests across the United States.
The league, UnidosUS and National Urban League continue to explore additional testing programs and work together to amplify the latest global health and safety information. Since March, NBA and WNBA players, legends and coaches have filmed more than 45 PSAs to share support and tips for reducing risk and staying healthy, including recent messages about the importance of wearing face coverings, hand washing and physical distancing following the recent surge of cases around the country. To date, the PSAs have been viewed more than 65 million times across the league’s digital and social platforms. Recent PSAs from NBA and WNBA players and legends, including NBA champion Stephen Curry, NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo, WNBA champion Candace Parker and more, can be viewed at www.NBATogether.com.
The NBA is also working with The Fight Is In Us, a nationwide coalition of local and federal health officials and other partners, to encourage COVID-19 survivors to donate plasma for virus research and treatments and to share the latest health and safety information and resources regarding the pandemic.
The league is continuing its support of scientific research into more accessible testing through research partnerships with the Yale School of Public Health, the Mayo Clinic, and other leading research institutions. The NBA’s support of expanded access to testing with the Yale School of Public Health is focused on validating and obtaining FDA approval for a non-invasive saliva test for the coronavirus that reduces test turnaround times and costs less than current tests, which would allow the test to become widely available across many communities. In addition, the league is supporting multiple other academic and industry partners on pooled testing and rapid turnaround testing that could provide models for businesses reopening safely and for important public health uses including outbreak assessment and control.