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Adam Silver Defends Utah Jazz Against NYC Mayor Over Coronavirus Testing

NBA commissioner Adam Silver (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver went on the defensive to protect league franchises like the Brooklyn Nets and Utah Jazz during an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump Wednesday, in the wake criticism from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. The New York City Mayor has been critical of the access professional teams have gotten to COVID-19 tests while critically ill patients are being denied the tests.

Tuesday, de Blasio sent a tweet in reaction to the Nets discovery that four players had tested positive for the virus after the league went on hiatus more than a week ago.

“We wish them a speedy recovery.” The Mayor’s tweet said, “But with all due respect, an entire NBA team should NOT get tested for COVID-19 while there are critically ill patients waiting to be tested.”

Silver responded to Mayor de Blasio with host Rachel Nichols on The Jump Wednesday.

“It’s unfortunate we’re in a position as a society where it’s triage when it comes to testing.” Silver said, “So the fundamental issue is ‘are there sufficient tests?’ I’d only say in the case of the NBA, we’ve been following the recommendations of public health officials.”

After Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus Wednesday in Oklahoma City, leading to the league-wide suspension of play, the entire Jazz roster, traveling team members, and media were administered the COVID-19 test. Silver used the Jazz as an example of the league following the advice of health authorities.

“The Utah Jazz did not ask to get tested,” Silver said, “The Oklahoma public health official there on the spot not only required that they be tested but they weren’t allowed to leave their locker room for at least four hours after the game where they had to stay masks on in the locker room where they couldn’t leave until the health authorities had tested them.”

Silver went on to explain that after guard Donovan Mitchell tested positive Thursday morning, the league followed doctors’ recommendations that the teams that were “most proximate” to the Jazz get tested.

The New York City Mayor has been a source of controversy during the coronavirus outbreak. Despite recommending that New Yorkers shelter in place during the pandemic, the Mayor has been seen publicly attending a gym outside of his home.

For all of KSL Sports coverage of the NBA, the Utah Jazz, and coronavirus, click the link here.

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Your Life Your Health: How can parents prepare their home, children against coronavirus?

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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