A second Utah Jazz player — All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell — preliminarily has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.
The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the sensitive nature of the diagnosis.
Mitchell’s teammate, center Rudy Gobert, on Wednesday was the first NBA player to test positive for COVID-19. His diagnosis was discovered just before the Jazz were scheduled to play a road game against Oklahoma City. The game was postponed just before tip-off, and Gobert’s positive test was announced shortly after.
The NBA also announced it was suspending its season “until further notice. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
Following the game, Jazz players and traveling staff were tested for the virus.
“As a follow-up to yesterday’s positive COVID-19 test, Oklahoma health officials tested all members of the Utah Jazz traveling party, confirming one additional positive outcome for a Jazz player,” the Jazz said in a statement. “We are working closely with the CDC, Oklahoma and Utah state officials, and the NBA to monitor their health and determine the best path moving forward.”
Mitchell has been in the Jazz lineup and was not listed on the team’s injury report on Wednesday.
He posted a brief statement on Instagram that read in part: “Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test. 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.”
The Oklahoman reported Mitchell visited a local high school before testing positive.
In the past nine days, the Jazz have played the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors. Those teams have been asked to self-quarantine, and in a statement sent Thursday, the Raptors said, “Out of an abundance of caution, members of the Raptors traveling party have been tested for the virus. We await those results.
“Our players, coaches and traveling staff have all been advised to go into self-isolation for 14 days, which means minimizing contact in accordance with public health guidelines. Our team doctors remain in communication with infection control specialists and public health authorities, and we will continue to abide by their advice.”
The Pistons said “while there is no indication that the novel coronavirus was passed to any Pistons player or staff member, out of an abundance of caution medical staff has asked players, coaches, basketball staff and traveling party to self-isolate until further notice under the direction of team medical staff.”
The Celtics are doing the same.
“We are exercising an abundance of caution in taking every measure to be vigilant and safe,” the team said in a statement. “These steps will include having players and staff who were in close contact with the Utah players or who traveled to Milwaukee to self-quarantine through the weekend, during which time all players will be tested, as will staff who came into close contact with the Utah players or who exhibit symptoms. We will also take any additional measures as necessary and as recommended by the DPH (Massachusetts Department of Health).”
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