Magic Coach Steve Clifford Tests Positive For COVID-19, Per Report – NewsOpener

Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Clifford is reportedly asymptomatic, so both he and the team are hoping that it is a false positive, but that won’t be clear until he takes another test.

Clifford, like many players and coaches around the league, has received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Under the league’s health and safety protocols, the Magic canceled practice on Saturday, per Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel. They are scheduled to play the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night, and as of now, that game is still expected to be played. 

In order to be cleared to coach against the Pacers, Clifford would have to register two negative tests beforehand, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported. Furthermore, Clifford would need clearance from the league. 

After a brutal winter in which nearly every team in the league dealt with positive COVID-19 cases, and 31 games had to be postponed and rescheduled, things are much more under control. There hasn’t been a single postponement due to COVID-19 since March 2, and in the latest round of testing, just three of 488 players tested positive. 

Much of that is due to the widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, which every adult in the United States is now eligible to receive. Legends such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell have filmed PSAs urging people to get the vaccine, and a number of teams and players have posted pictures and videos to social media showing them receiving the shot. 

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