Dr. Priya Sampathkumar is on the staff at the Mayo Clinic, which is starting to get support from the NBA and its players for a study that will point to shed more light on how antibody testing can help the therapeutic world further get it COVID-19. She’s among the specialists frantically attempting to reply that address — and the NBA is presently attempting to help.
Sampathkumar gets asked by her two teen-aged children each day when they can anticipate seeing NBA recreations again. NBA groups were told this week about the study through an invitation for players and staff to volunteer to take part.
Teams were told that the study would also help doctors understand the prevalence of COVID-19 among infected individuals who were asymptomatic or experienced only mild symptoms.
According to Sampathkumar, “I think this is one step towards understanding when we might be able to open things back up, the Mayo Clinic’s Chair of the Immunization and the Infection Prevention and Control Specialty Councils and it’s certainly not that at the end of the study, we’re not going to be able to say, ‘OK, on X, Y and Z date everything can open up again.”
It’s a relatively simple process: Teams will receive materials from researchers, then have phlebotomists collect specimens that will be shipped back to the Mayo Clinic. Participants will also have to fill out a survey to gauge their level of potential exposure. Within two days, test results will be known — and because this is about antibodies, it will not take resources away from those doing another testing to identify those who are sick with the virus.
The NBA has not played since March 11. Some teams are reopening facilities on Friday for voluntary workouts, though most are waiting until next week or beyond. And there is no plan to end the shutdown anytime soon.