Sparks guard Te’a Cooper cleared to return following inconclusive COVID-19 test

Update: 8/26

A day after Te’a Cooper missed a game because of an inconclusive COVID-19 test, the Los Angeles Sparks guard has been cleared to rejoin the team following her second consecutive negative test.


The Los Angeles Sparks were without guard Te’a Cooper on Wednesday night after a COVID-19 test she took earlier this week came back inconclusive, the team announced ahead of their 86-75 win against the Indiana Fever.

The inconclusive test in question was administered on Monday. She was immediately retested on Tuesday after the results came back. The second test was negative.

[ Coronavirus: How the sports world is responding to the pandemic ]

Due to the WNBA’s safety protocol, however, her inconclusive test is treated as a positive test. She is currently in isolation and must receive a second negative test result more than 24 hours apart from the first and be cleared by a doctor before she can return.

Cooper, who the Mercury selected in the second round of the draft earlier this summer, was averaging 7.3 points and two assists in nearly 17 minutes per game so far this season. Wednesday’s win against the Fever lifts the Sparks to 3-2 so far at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Cooper is the second player to return inconclusive test

Cooper is at least the second player forced to sit out due to an inconclusive test. Las Vegas Aces guard Lindsay Allen missed their game against the Phoenix Mercury on Friday due to an inconclusive positive result on her coronavirus test. She was cleared to return on Sunday following multiple negative tests.

There were more than 4.8 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States as of Wednesday afternoon, according to The New York Times, and more than 158,000 deaths attributed to it. Florida had more than 502,000 cases alone, the second most in the country behind only California — 55,000 of which came in the last week.

Both the WNBA and NBA bubbles, however, appear to be working despite the high number of cases in the state. The WNBA’s last positive test was on July 9. The NBA — which is playing about 100 miles away at Walt Disney World — announced its second straight report of no positive coronavirus tests on Wednesday morning.

Los Angeles Sparks guard Te'a Cooper
Los Angeles Sparks guard Te'a Cooper passes the ball up the court during the first half against the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday, July 25, 2020. (AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

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