Sanford Health announces COVID-19 testing partnership with NBA

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sanford Health will conduct on-site COVID-19 testing of players, coaches and staff for this weekend’s NBA All-Star 2021 events in Atlanta.

The event features players from the NBA competing in the Skills Competition, 3-Point Contest, Slam Dunk Contest and All-Star Game. Sanford Health lab techs will travel to Atlanta in one of the mobile testing units that was used for PGA TOUR testing. Sanford Health estimates it will run between 500-750 tests for the event. The time it takes to collect and process the tests is generally 90 minutes.

“It arrived in Atlanta last night and is all ready to go. Our team of techs will be arriving tomorrow, so we’ll be able to do the testing starting tomorrow evening and running through Sunday when the event actually begins,” Rochelle Odenbrett, senior executive director of Sanford Laboratories said.

Earlier this week, Sanford Health announced an extension of its partnership with the PGA TOUR to provide COVID-19 testing on-site at TOUR events through June.

“This collaboration is a direct result of our successful partnership with the PGA TOUR,” Odenbrett said.

Additional safety measures for the event were announced by the NBA last month. These include private travel to and from Atlanta, the creation of a “mini bubble” environment and enhanced PCR testing. There will also be no fan activities, ticketed events or hospitality functions.

Sanford Health won’t be part of the collection team, but will test each sample in the mobile unit.

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