In the past few hours, the Oklahoma City Thunder issued a press release to the local and national media. The news was brilliant, all of the Thunder staff and players who were present at the game against the Utah Jazz on March 11 have tested negative for COVID-19. The release and the subsequent tweets from Marc Stein and Adrian Wojnarowski stated that ‘all results have come back negative” in regard to the coronavirus.
Stein of the New York Times tweeted out this news three hours ago
The Thunder announce that all results "have come back negative" on players and staffers tested for the coronavirus— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 18, 2020
Royce Young of ESPN elaborated on the news his tweet a few minutes after the Thunder released the statement
Also, the release notes the Thunder’s use of a private lab for testing: “Recognizing the stress on the state of Oklahoma’s medical system, the Thunder did not use state resources and chose an alternative path for testing of its personnel.”— Royce Young (@royceyoung) March 18, 2020
It is obviously wonderful to hear that the Thunder staff and players are alright, the coronavirus is a highly infectious disease that spreads quickly and can cause respiratory illnesses for those who have tested positive for COVID-19. However, the last line of the release is interesting and invokes a few moral questions regarding the availability of testing for the coronavirus. The Thunder did the right thing in getting their players tested and using their own means to get a test, it meant that test kits have been preserved for those who are more in need.
However, there has to be questions posed to labs and medical companies. Why are kits widely available to those who have the money to pay for testing and not widely available for all? In a time of global crisis, it surely makes more sense to do everything possible to test, identify and contain the spread of COVID-19 than it does to profiteer off the crisis.