Thursday, March 12, 2020

NBA suspends play after Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell test positive for COVID-19

The NBA announced Wednesday night, that they are suspending all games until further notice following Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert testing positive for the coronavirus COVID-19.

The NBA says they "will use this hiatus to determine next steps in regard to the coronavirus pandemic" after The Jazz's matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed as a result of Gobert reportedly testing positive. The contest between the Jazz and Thunder was the first of two games that was cancelled, as the game between the Pelicans and Kings was also called off.

The Jazz also released a statement regarding Gobert, who was not at as the Chesapeake Energy Arena, but where his teammates remained in quarantine for several hours and were all tested. 

The Thunder players and staff were also quarantined and eventually were told to self-quarantine for 24 hours after being released. Many stayed in hotels rather than going home and were also tested.

On Thursday morning, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Donovan Mitchell had tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the second Jazz player to test positive for COVID-19.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Mitchell was the only one to test positive out of 58 people who were tested of the Jazz players and personnel.

Though the Jazz confirmed a second player to have tested positive, they didn't name who in their released statement.

Mitchell took to Instagram to thank supporters and to confirm that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
"Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test," Mitchell wrote. "We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them. 
"I appreciate the authorities in Oklahoma who were helpful with the testing process and everyone from the Utah Jazz who have been so supportive. I am going to keep following the advice of our medical staff and hope that we can all come together and be there for each other and our neighbors who need our help."  
The NBA has told teams that have played Utah in the last 10 days that they should self-quarantine. Utah's opponents since March 2 include the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors.

On Monday Gobert, who hadn't taken the threat serious, was seen purposely touching microphones and audio recorders on a podium during a media session.

Gobert has since issued an apology for those he has infected by being careless and he will use his experience to educate others.

During the NBA's Board of Governors conference call on Thursday afternoon the league informed teams that hiatus will last at a minimum of 30 days, which will be an official announcement made at some point soon.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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