The NBA is addressing some key concerns about players who have recovered from the novel coronavirus and yet continue to test positive. According to ESPN's Malika Andrews, teams have been recently concerned about false positive tests possibly sidelining healthy players.
Since players who have recovered from COVID-19 can still have some of the dead virus cells in their system detected by tests, the NBA has put in new standards, including passing an antibody test for those who have recovered from COVID-19 and shown a positive result.
A person who recovers but returns an inconclusive result won't be restricted if he or she can meet these standards:
-Has had at least 14 days since the first positive test or a resolution of the symptoms
-Has been in isolation and produced two consecutive negative tests after 14 days
-Returned a positive IgG antibody result
-Has tested negative on rapid results test
The NBA has basically reissued its standards in case there is a false positive, something the league expected to happen on occasion.
This, however, becomes a much bigger deal if it happens during the playoffs, as a false positive test on LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard could be the deciding factor of a series.
Something like this has also happened in other sports. Jimmie Johnson tested negative three times before testing positive right before his NASCAR race, effectively sidelining him from the event. He went on to test negative two more times right after the race — proof that it was indeed a false positive.
Fine-tuning how testing is done is pivotal to the bubble environment and being able to finalize the NBA season. While testing has been found not to be 100% accurate, the league will need to be as sharp as it can be or risk living in a bubble of uncertainty over the next few months.