Raptors still planning to begin training in Florida next week

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry. (Chris Young/CP)

The Toronto Raptors are still planning on beginning to train in Florida next week despite rising cases of COVID-19 in the state, Sportsnet’s Michael Grange is reporting.

Grange adds that members of the Raptors are expected to begin arriving in Naples, Fla., on Sunday and Monday and all players will be required to report for mandatory testing on Tuesday.

Florida reported 3,822 positive tests on Friday, according to CNN, a new record. The previous record was set Thursday and the state has seen a spike in cases for most of the month of June.

On Friday the Tampa Bay Lightning, Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays shut down their Florida facilities after multiple reported instances of people testing positive or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

Phase 2 of the NBA’s Return to Play plan is scheduled to begin Tuesday with every team except the Raptors reporting to their home city for testing and to participate in isolated workouts. Since the border between Canada and the United States remains closed for non-essential travel and many Raptors employees have been quarantining in the U.S. already, the team will instead report directly to Florida and hold their training camp there.

The NBA regular season is scheduled to return on July 30 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., with 22 teams each playing eight more games to determine seeding for the playoffs.

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