UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Arrive In SLC Following Postponed Game In OKC, Players Infected By Coronavirus

Mar 12, 2020, 4:09 PM | Updated: 4:12 pm
Rudy Gobert - Donovan Mitchell - Utah Jazz...
Rudy Gobert #27 and Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz during the first half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 28, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz arrived back in Salt Lake City after having their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed, the NBA season suspended, and two players being infected with the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, according to ESPN.

The Jazz flew back to Utah on Thursday, March 12, one day after they were originally scheduled to play against the Thunder.

“A charter flight carrying members of the Utah Jazz has landed back in Salt Lake City,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported via Twitter. “It is immediately unclear if Rudy Gobert or Donovan Mitchell were on the flight from Oklahoma City. Both All-Stars have tested positive for the coronavirus.”

During a press conference on March 12, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, Steve Starks, said that the Jazz were headed back to Utah from Oklahoma City without Gobert and Mitchell.

Starks mentioned that both players were tested in Oklahoma City and weren’t symptomatic prior to leaving the state of Utah for the game against the Thunder.

Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell

Gobert and Mitchell have since confirmed via social media that they tested positive for COVID-19.

Mitchell first confirmed on Instagram that he’d joined Gobert in testing positive for the virus.

“Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test,” Mitchell posted on Instagram. “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.”

Shortly after, Gobert posted on both Instagram and Twitter to apologize for being “careless” in the days prior to his positive test.

“I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of concern and support over the last 24 hours,” wrote Gobert. “I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis…mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment. The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse. I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as a way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus. I am under great care and will fully recover. Thank you again for all your support. I encourage everyone to take all of the steps to stay safe and healthy. Love.”

According to Wojnarowski, “Jazz players privately say that Rudy Gobert had been careless in the locker room touching other players and their belongings.”

Following Gobert’s confirmed test on Wednesday, March 11, the NBA postponed Utah’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder and announced that it was suspending all games until further notice.

“The NBA is suspending gameplay following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice,” read part of the league’s statement.

Coronavirus Resources

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How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

The CDC does not recommend wearing a facemask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.

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