Donovan Mitchell Becomes Second Utah Jazz Player to Test Positive for Coronavirus
On Wednesday night, the NBA suspended its season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive
A second Utah Jazz player has tested positive for coronavirus.
On Thursday, the team announced in a press release that “all members of the Utah Jazz traveling party” had been tested for the virus after player Rudy Gobert’s recent diagnosis. During the additional round of testing, a second player tested positive.
The team did not initially identify the athlete who had tested positive in their release, but sources identified the player to ESPN as 23-year-old Donovan Mitchell.
Mitchell confirmed the reports on Instagram later Thursday.
“Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test,” he said. “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 @utahjazz 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.”
In the Jazz’s statement, the team said, “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. 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.”
“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.
“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.
Following the news of Gobert’s diagnosis, reports surfaced that the player appeared to have brushed off the coronavirus pandemic just days before his positive test result.
While meeting in an interview room, instead of a locker room — as part of the league’s response to the outbreak — Gobert, 27, made a point to touch reporters’ microphones and recorders in an exaggerated manner during a pregame interview on Monday, seemingly a joke at the league’s cautiousness.
In a video that surfaced on social media, Gobert can be seen getting up from his seat after the interview. As he begins to leave the room, the athlete turns around to wipe his hands on the mouthpiece of several microphones attached to a podium before leaving the room.
ESPN reports that Gobert also joked about the virus while in the locker room by purposefully touching his teammates and their belongings.
As of March 12, there are at least 130,500 cases of coronavirus worldwide, including 1,302 confirmed cases in the United States.
The CDC says the best prevention methods are basic forms of hygiene — careful hand washing, avoiding touching the face, moving away from people who are coughing or sneezing and staying home at signs of illness.