NBA Suspends Season After Utah Jazz Player Rudy Gobert Tests Positive for Coronavirus
"The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic," the NBA said in a statement
The NBA has suspended the remainder of the season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus.
“The NBA announced that a player on the Utah Jazz has preliminary tested positive for COVID-19. The test was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of tonight’s game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena,” the NBA said in a statement shared on Twitter.
“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic,” the statement concluded.
On Monday, Gobert appeared to poke fun at the virus during a press conference when he leaned over and touched all of the microphones and recorders following his interview.
“As part of the Jazz’s COVID-19 response, shoot around availability was done in the ZBBC media room today rather than on the court. As Rudy Gobert got finished discussing the situation, he stood up, leaned over and made it a point to touch every mic and recorder in front of him,” Utah Jazz reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune Eric Walden tweeted.
Prior to the NBA’s announcement, the Utah Jazz tweeted an injury report, revealing that players Gobert and Emmanuel Mudiay would not play in Wednesday night’s game against Oklahoma City Thunder due to “illness.”
Mudiay’s status is not clear at this time.
Following the announcement, the New Orleans Pelicans revealed their game against the Sacramento Kings will continue as planned.
The news of the suspension comes after the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced that March Madness will be held without fans in attendance.
NCAA President Mark Emmert revealed the news in a statement on Wednesday, explaining, “My decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States.”
“The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel. Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance,” Emmert shared.
As of Wednesday, there are now at least 1,015 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, PEOPLE previously reported.
31 people in the U.S. have died from coronavirus-related illness, mostly in Washington state.
The majority of U.S. cases are in Washington state, California and New York, and all three have declared a state of emergency to redirect funding.
Worldwide, there are now 121,545 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 4,373 deaths.
The first cases of a mysterious respiratory illness — what is now known as COVID-2019, a form of coronavirus — began in Wuhan, China in late December. Since then, the virus has spread worldwide, leading the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency, the first since the zika epidemic in 2016.
At first, this coronavirus was contained to China, but Wuhan is a major transportation hub with hundreds of flights leaving and landing from the city of 11 million each day. Soon, as people flew from the area to different countries, the coronavirus reached more countries, including the United States.