The New York Knicks announced that they have shut down their practice facility in light of multiple employees testing positive for COVID-19. The news of the Knicks shutting down the MSG training center was announced in a press release by the team on Tuesday night. The Knicks employees COVID-19 outbreak comes at a time when the coronavirus situation in the United States is worsening, with the country seeing a record high of daily cases.
In the statement released by the team, the New York Knicks revealed that three of their employees have tested positive for coronavirus during routine screenings. While announcing the Knicks employees COVID-19 news, the team also revealed that all the three employees are asymptomatic and currently in quarantine. While concluding the statement, the Knicks disclosed that the MSG training center has been temporarily closed to facilitate thorough cleaning of the facility.
According to News Day, none of the Knicks players tested positive for COVID-19, despite the team not announcing the names of the employees who tested positive for the virus. While announcing the decision to close the Madison Square Garden Training Center, the team did not announce a reopening date for the practice facility. Despite the coronavirus situation in the US, the Knicks were able to hold a mini-camp last month, giving new head coach Tom Thibodeau his first opportunity to work with the group of players that haven’t been in action since March.
Notably, Westchester County, the place where the MSG Training Center is located has been identified as a COVID-19 hot spot in New York. According to the New York State Department of Health, while the state’s positivity rate is 3.09 %, the positivity rate at Westchester County is 4.6%. The Knicks employees COVID-19 news has coincided with the fact that New York’s positivity rate has risen above 3% for the first time since May.
The closure of the training facility comes less than a month before players were scheduled to return to training ahead of the 2020-21 season. Currently, the new season is slated to begin from December 22, with NBA teams allowed to open their practice facilities from October 30. ESPN recently revealed that a memo sent by the league to the teams detailed that players will have to be tested for COVID-19 everyday. Subsequently, those returning only negative results will be the ones allowed to assess the practice facility and train in groups.