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Tucson’s Pierce living privileged life inside NBA bubble

TUCSON (KVOA) - Tucson’s Darrin Piece is inside the NBA bubble. 

It’s likely one of the most segregated and at the same time safest places to be in all of the United States. 

The NBA restart began this week. 

Pierce, who owns the local pub Growler U.S.A in Oro Valley, has been in Orlando since July 12 in his role as a camera operator for Turner Sports Television. 

It’s segregated because workers in the bubble are divided into three color groups, green, yellow and red. 

Green is the primary group that involves the players and coaching staffs. 

These color groups are forbidden from interacting under the league’s COVID19 protocol. 

The bubble is safe because of the amount of funding the NBA is investing into testing and contact tracing in order for this restart to work. 

Pierce had to isolate in his hotel room at the Coronado Springs Resort for seven days upon his arrival in Orlando.

Medical staff came to his room for tests and he was brought three meals every day, but he could not leave the room at all for that first week.

Personnel in the green zone are tested for the Coronavirus every day. Workers in the yellow and red zones are tested twice a week. 

NBA personnel are receiving their test results in around 18 hours. 

Everyone wears a wrist watch-looking device called the NBA MyHealth App. It tracks all the individual’s medical information. 

Personnel also must wear an identification badge that comes equipped with a proximity sensor. 

The sensor tracks movement and beeps when within six-feet of another sensor. 

In the event of a positive COVID19 test, these sensors allow for quick contact tracing and isolation of potentially infected individuals. 

Pierce will be inside the bubble working games for Turner through September 29. 

He says the network graciously paid their employees for all assignments missed during the initial Pandemic shutdown. 

It was one of the reasons he felt compelled to reciprocate the generosity and accept the company’s offer to work the games in Orlando. 

Copyright 2020 News 4 Tucson. All rights reserved. 

David Kelly

David Kelly is the weekend sports anchor at KVOA in Tucson. He is a 28-year veteran of the sports broadcast business.

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