Sacramento Kings exploring breathalyzer concept to detect Covid-19, team owner says

Sacramento Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadivé talks to the media before a game.

Rocky Widner | NBAE via Getty Images

Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive said his organization is experimenting with a breathalyzer device to detect Covid-19.

“You’ll be able to blow into a tube and test whether somebody has the virus by looking through a spectroscope,”  Ranadive told CNBC’s “Power Lunch” on Monday.

Ranadive said the Kings are exploring numerous “elimination of friction efforts” to avoid spreading the virus throughout the more than $500 million Golden 1 Center, including access to temperate gauges.

Researchers at UCLA and Ohio State University have been awarded grants to test the Covid-19 breathalyzer concepts, one of which could produce results in 15 seconds. The testing system would be able to take certain compounds of an individual breath to detect coronavirus.

The National Basketball Association approved plans on June 4 to resume its season after suspending operations due to the pandemic on March 11. However, the plan faced late resistance from some players who have expressed concerns about the exclusive bubble environment in Orlando at Walt Disney World.

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving helped organize a call with other NBA players on Friday to discuss questions surrounding the league’s reopen proposal. Players also discussed if resuming games during the current social turbulence plaguing the country would be beneficial.

 

Despite the current friction, Ranadive, who said he was a part of the league’s subcommittee for reopening, said he’s “very confident” games will restart in July as scheduled.

“Nothing is going to be ever a 100% foolproof,” Ranadive said. “When you walk into a grocery store, you’re taking chances. We have a close relationship with Disney. [Disney Executive Chairman] Bob Iger and I have a high level of confidence that we’re going to be safer in Orlando than most people would be at home.”

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