NBA wants local game-day testing in all 28 cities

12:11 AM ET

Tim BontempsESPN

As the NBA continues to deal with the reality of attempting to play the 2020-21 regular season amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the league sent a memo to teams Wednesday night detailing plans to try to supplement the testing already in place for players and referees with localized game-day testing in all 28 NBA cities.

The memo, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN, asks each team to spend the next two days attempting to find local testing providers; the league plans to discuss those findings with the teams over the weekend with the goal of beginning to implement the extra tests sometime next week. The intent is to find a local provider of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests that can turn around at least 40 tests — enough to handle players on both teams, as well that night’s referees — that could be collected the morning of a game and returned at least one hour before tipoff.

PCR tests are more accurate than the rapid tests but take far longer to process.

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