ORLANDO - The Sixers headed to Orlando on Thursday to begin preparations for the continuation of the NBA season after the coronavirus pandemic halted play in March.
Once the team lands, the process for arrivals will be streamlined — players and team staff will be immediately taken to the testing room at their Disney hotel after clearing security when arriving on the premises. They’ll receive a short briefing on the testing program and other matters, receive what will serve as their room key, then go through initial testing for both the coronavirus and the presence of antibodies. Virus testing will continue daily; the antibody testing is intended to be a one-time event at Disney.
In their rooms, a welcome kit including a thermometer, pulse oximeter and two optional items — a physical distancing sensor and an Oura Ring that tracks sleep and activity — will be awaiting players and staff, as will some personal protective equipment such as wipes to clean the exterior of their luggage.
If those precautions weren't enough, Sixers All-Star center Joel Embiid was taking no chances on the team's trip down to Florida. Embiid, 26, was seen boarding the team plane wearing a Tyvek suit along with a mask. He reportedly wore the precautionary getup all the way to Florida.
The Sixers and the rest of the NBA squads will reside at the NBA's bubble community for at least 5 1/2 weeks as the 2020 season plays out. All this, of course, comes with coronavirus numbers in Florida still rising and the percentage of positive test results simply overwhelming what the standards were a few weeks ago.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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