The NBA could get an assist from Yale University in monitoring the spread of COVID-19 when its season resumes.
Yale’s School of Public Health has announced that select NBA players, coaches and staff will take part in the university’s efforts to determine whether saliva testing for COVID-19 is effective.
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Yale researchers have developed a testing method called SalivaDirect that could replace the more invasive nasal swab. The school says that an earlier SalivaDirect study found COVID-19 in two asymptomatic health care workers who previously tested negative when their nostrils were swabbed.
Basketball players will be “bubbling up” this summer in Orlando, Florida -- isolating at several Disney properties in order to limit COVID-19 exposure so the league can finish a season that was suspended in March.
A medical official with the NBA Players Association said the partnership with Yale doesn’t just provide people in the bubble with an alternate testing method. This type of regular testing could contribute to the greater good as researchers refine their methods and gather more data, the official said.
A Yale spokesperson said saliva samples will be collected starting this week and will be sent to Yale scientists for review.