NBA reports 48 players tested positive ahead of training camps

The National Basketball Association (NBA) reported on Wednesday that 48 players tested positive for COVD-19 as they returned for training camps. 

The 48 positive tests among 546 players amounts to almost 9 percent of the players testing positive, according to a league announcement.

The tests were conducted between Nov. 24-30. 

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The NBA regular season is to begin on Dec. 22, though preseason games will start at the end of next week. The league is playing a 72-game season instead of the usual 82-game schedule.

The league just concluded its playoffs for the 2019-2020 season in October. That season was concluded in a "bubble" environment in which teams all played on courts at Disney World in Orlando in a controlled environment.

The new season will be taking place across the country, though fans are not expected in arenas as the nation deals with skyrocketing COVID-19 case numbers. But there are some exceptions. The Atlanta Hawks will allow limited crowds, for example.

The Toronto Raptors will compete in Tampa Bay for home games because of travel restrictions between Canada and the U.S.

“Anyone who has returned a confirmed positive test during this initial phase of testing in their team’s market is isolated until they are cleared for leaving isolation under the rules established by the NBA and the Players Association in accordance with [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidance,” the NBA said in a release. 

Players were required to get three negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests before beginning individual workouts, The Associated Press reported. Those who tested positive will have to pass a cardiac exam before playing, and some players may not pass before the preseason starts on Dec. 11.