Bubbles remain undefeated: WNBA announces zero positive COVID-19 tests since play began

·3 min read

The WNBA announced that zero players of the 139 total had tested positive for COVID-19 since the initial quarantine period ended on July 10. It is the first time the league has released testing data in a month.

There were seven positive tests during the initial quarantine period in early July when teams began arriving to the IMG Academy campus in Bradenton, Florida. Those tests were conducted between June 28 and July 5.

Players have been tested regularly since arriving and those who opted in will be receiving an Oura Health ring to help track any early symptoms.

Seven players initially tested positive

The players who initially tested positive when their team arrived in Florida remained in self-isolation near IMG until they had tested negative twice.

The Indiana Fever stayed behind and waited to travel due to self-quarantine requirements in “an abundance of caution.” They said they had two positive tests in their party.

The Atlanta Dream also had at least two positive tests at the outset of the season. Veteran Glory Johnson and second-year player Kalani Brown both announced their positive tests the day before the season began.

Johnson self-isolated off the IMG campus for three weeks and said she was asymptomatic. She does not know where she contracted the coronavirus between training in Atlanta and traveling to Florida.

In four games since being back, she’s averaging 13.3 minutes. Brown has not appeared for the Dream yet.

WNBA being incredibly cautious with tests

A staff member sanitizes a game ball that went out of bounds as part of the league's COVID-19 protocols. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
A staff member sanitizes a game ball that went out of bounds as part of the league's COVID-19 protocols. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

The league has been very careful containing its bubble. Broadcasters are not on site with the exception of ESPN sideline reporter Holly Rowe. And team personnel was limited for the “wubble,” as its being called.

They’ve also been taking any inconclusive test seriously, treating it as a positive in an abundance of caution to protect all players. Los Angeles Sparks rookie T’ea Cooper had an inconclusive test on Monday and was put in isolation. She was negative for the virus twice in tests taken 24 hours apart and rejoined the Sparks.

Las Vegas Aces guard Lindsay Allen also missed a game last week after an inconclusive test. She was also cleared to return days later with two negative tests.

The NBA has also reported zero positive tests, though the league has released those numbers more regularly than the WNBA. The bubble system has been celebrated as a way to eliminate the virus with players buying in to proper protocols. MLB is struggling with containing it and there is concern over how the NFL and college football will play seasons this fall.

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