Questions emerge about sports draining public resources

Questions emerge about sports draining public resources

With American professional sports beginning to return at a time when the coronavirus is washing through the nation unrestrained, the importance of prioritized COVID-19 testing for sports gives rise to important questions regarding the strain placed on resources otherwise available to the public. As explained by Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports Philadelphia, efforts by the NBA to secure a quick turnaround in testing amounts to the NBA getting preference over the general public at the laboratory the NBA utilizes. Haberstroh explains that, earlier this week, the NBA switched from Quest Diagnostics to BioReference. Coincidentally, Quest recently made it clear that individuals other than “hospital patients, pre-operative patients in acute care settings and symptomatic healthcare workers” will now have an average turnaround of 4-6 days between collection of sample and outcome of test. BioReference apparently will be moving more quickly for the NBA, primarily because BioReference seems to be willing to give the NBA priority. As Halberstroh notes, the BioReference website advises that “[i]If you are looking for your COVID-19 PCR (swab) results please note that these may not be available in the patient portal for up to 5-7 days after collection.” Zachary Binney, an epidemiologist quoted in Halberstroh’s article, separately observes that the MLS is using BioReference, and that the MLS is receiving test results within 24-48 hours. “MLS is jumping the line, at *best* delaying the public’s results,” Binney tweeted. “It’s a scandal.” “Scandal” may be a bit strong, if only because we’ve reached a point where things that ...
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