Former NBA Player Jason Collins Has Tested Positive for Coronavirus
Jason Collins has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
On Tuesday, the former NBA star announced his diagnosis on Twitter, recalling the symptoms he began to feel following a Brooklyn Nets Pride night game earlier this month.
“I tested positive for COVID19. I believe I got it while on a trip to N.Y.C. at the beginning of the month for the Brooklyn Nets Pride night game. I had my first symptoms on Wed Mar 11. Terrible headache. A few days later I had a fever and then the cough,” Collins shared.
“On Saturday I went to the ER and got tested and spoke with some docs about the tightness in my chest,” he wrote. “I’m home now resting but still experiencing some tightness and might go back to the hospital later today. On Saturday my lungs were clear, which obviously is good.”
The former center then urged people to continue social distancing to help “flatten the curve” and contain any further spread of the virus.
“Please stay safe and continue to social distance. Thank you to every single health care worker out there that are our true heroes on the frontline. Please let’s try to flatten the curve & not overwhelm our health care system.”
Collins, who became the first openly gay player in the NBA in 2014, received an outpouring of support and well wishes after coming forward with his diagnosis. The former Nets player thanked everyone for their uplifting messages.
“Thank you for all the well wishes. Deeply grateful for the [heart emoji]. Also battling #COVID19 is my partner,@BrunsonGreen,” Collins shared. “He’s doing better today, but we’re still not out of the woods yet. We’re continuing to self isolate in our home.”
The NBA has become the epicenter of COVID-19 outbreaks among the pro sports leagues in the United States. As of Wednesday morning, at least 15 active NBA players have tested positive for the new respiratory virus.
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive for the virus, followed by teammate, Donovan Mitchell and Detroit Pistons’ Christian Wood. The Brooklyn Nets reported four cases, one of which is Kevin Durant, on March 17.
Last Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers announced two cases, while the Philadelphia 76ers reported three cases. The Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics both reported one case, each, on their teams.
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NBA spokesperson Mike Bass issued a statement last week about players who have received tests for the COVID-19 virus, and encouraged them to come forward to raise awareness about the seriousness of the pandemic.
“Public health authorities and team doctors have been concerned that, given NBA players’ direct contact with each other and close interactions with the general public, in addition to their frequent travel, they could accelerate the spread of the virus. Following two players testing positive last week, others were tested and five additional players tested positive,” he told ESPN reporter Ramona Shelburne. “Hopefully, by these players choosing to make their rest results public, they have drawn attention to the critical need for young people to follow CDC recommendations in order to protect others, particularly those with underlying health conditions and the elderly.”
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.