September 20, 2020
WNBA postpones Storm-Lynx Game 1 after inconclusive COVID-19 test results
WNBA takes 'abundance of caution' as Storm players receive inconclusive COVID-19 test results
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The WNBA has postponed Game 1 of the Seattle Storm and Minnesota Lynx’s semifinals series due to inconclusive COVID-19 test results.
The WNBA has announced it will postpone Sunday’s semifinals playoff game between the Seattle Storm and Minnesota Lynx due to inconclusive COVID-19 test results Storm players received.
The league announcement came via email 31 minutes before Game 1 between Seattle and Minnesota was scheduled to begin.
“Players with inconclusive results have undergone additional testing today and are currently in isolation,” the WNBA memo read. “The new date for Game 1 will be communicated as developments warrant.”
Players have been tested daily since they arrived in the IMG Academy bubble in Bradenton, Florida in July.
“If there are multiple players on a team (with inconclusive tests), we really can’t take a chance to expose the bubble to any kind of community spread,” league commissioner Cathy Engelbert told ESPN’s Holly Rowe. “We need to get more data, get more testing, get more data to see whether we have an issue or not.”
Engelbert shared the news with Storm players and coaches as they were loading the bus, preparing to leave for Game 1. The Lynx had already made their way to IMG Academy’s Court 1 when the postponement was announced.
“This is the hardest part of COVID-19 and putting on live sports during it,” Engelbert said. “Every day, you’re reset to zero. The fact that we might have had 70 negatives before this doesn’t actually matter. It’s about keeping the bubble safe, making sure that there’s no community spread because the purpose of the testing program and the protocols we have is to be able to actually pull anybody who is positive before they’re infectious. That’s the main thing we’re trying to do here: make sure we have all the data, all the testing so that if someone is infected with COVID, we can get them into isolation and take care of them, their health, their safety and then move on with play.”
Engelbert hopes to receive data and results in the next 24-48 hours with a return to play to follow. The entire Storm team will again be tested tonight with additional tests to come for the players who received inconclusive results.
“You have to be right. You have to put the data, the science first,” Engelbert said. “While we would have liked to have had a game right now on ABC because we’re in the WNBA semifinals with four teams left, you have to follow your gut, you have to follow your instinct, and you have to follow the data and the science.
“This was the right thing to do today.”