Weiss added: “The testing strategy we have implemented of two daily P.C.R. tests creates a process that aims to identify an infected individual before they become infectious to others. Combined with our data that analyzes contact time and distance during on-court play, our experts believe that the game can safely proceed in these circumstances.”
Major League Baseball faced a similar challenge of a positive test result received during competition, in Game 6 of the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays in October. The Dodgers’ third baseman, Justin Turner, learned during the seventh inning that he had tested positive, and was pulled from the game before the start of the eighth inning. The game was not stopped then, either, and Turner later apologized for returning to the field to celebrate winning the championship with his teammates.
Curry’s rapid test came up as negative, allowing him to be on the bench with a mask, according to one of the people familiar with the situation. The 76ers then received the result of his lab test, which was positive, and took him to an isolated room at Barclays Center as play continued. He left the arena separately from the rest of the team.
The Nets still played the Grizzlies, as scheduled, on Friday night. Nets Coach Steve Nash said before the game that he and his players “weren’t aware” of Curry’s positive coronavirus result as they played the Sixers, but he added that since then “the talk or chatter about it amongst our team was pretty minimal.”
On Thursday, Curry had been seated on the front row of Philadelphia’s bench in the first quarter against the Nets in street clothes, with the assistant coach Sam Cassell to his right and, for portions of the quarter, Philadelphia’s star center Joel Embiid to his left.
After the game, Embiid, who recently became a father, told ESPN that he planned to quarantine from his family until he was sure that he did not have the virus.
The Washington Wizards, who played Philadelphia on Wednesday night, played the Celtics in Boston on Friday night. The Celtics announced earlier in the day that three rotation players — Tristan Thompson, Grant Williams and Robert Williams III — would miss that game because of possible exposure to the coronavirus. Other top players in the league have also been in quarantine, including Kevin Durant of the Nets, despite not reporting a positive coronavirus test.