NBA turns to rapid testing for 2021-22 season

The NBA is turning to at-home testing devices as its main method of diagnosing COVID-19 this season.

The league announced Thursday that it will be using devices made by Cue Health of San Diego for the testing. The NBA conducted a trial program with the system last season, and given the league’s reported vaccination rate of about 96 percent, the NBA decided to use the devices across the league.

All 30 teams and referees will use the Cue system, which will be supplemented by lab-based testing as deemed necessary, ESPN reported.

Results are available within 20 minutes. Cue’s platform is an FDA-authorized molecular diagnostic test for at-home and over-the-counter use without physician supervision or a prescription.

“After exploring a number of different at-home and point of care COVID-19 testing options for the upcoming season, we selected Cue thanks to its combination of accuracy, information management, ease of use, and speed,” said David Weiss, NBA senior vice president of player matters, in a news release. “The health and safety of our players, coaches, staff and referees continue to be at the forefront of all of our decision-making.”

Under league protocols, unvaccinated players must undergo daily testing on days they interact with other players or Tier 1 personnel and take part in lab-based testing on game days.

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