Since a mid-January coronavirus outbreak, the Washington Wizards have played all of their games since Jan. 24 with no interruptions. That’s good news. However, that doesn’t mean that the team isn’t vulnerable to a second mass quarantine.
Last Friday, Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant played in part of a game against the Brooklyn Nets, but was ultimately forced to leave due to a close exposure with a team employee who tested positive for COVID-19. Durant was placed under the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols and will be under a seven-day quarantine.
But that’s not all. This is the second time Durant has been under a seven-day quarantine and he had the coronavirus last March.
Though Durant doesn’t play for the Wizards, he is a cautionary tale for them and the NBA nevertheless. While people who get the coronavirus get antibodies and immunity (which may be longer-lasting according to the NIH), it’s possible some people can be reinfected. In fact, some NBA players who tested positive for COVID-19 were positive again later according to Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe of ESPN last month, though it’s unclear if there are false positives or long haulers. But as Dan Feldman of NBC Sports noted, the league doesn’t want a separate set of rules for players who get the virus and let them do what they want.
From a science perspective, it’s likely that the Wizards’ players who contracted the coronavirus will probably not get it again. But at least for this season, the Wizards’ players, like Durant can always be back in quarantine at any point, even if they are otherwise following the rules on face masks, social distancing and avoiding large social gatherings like the Super Bowl later today.