The National Basketball Association (NBA) has suspended its season after a Utah Jazz player has “preliminarily” tested positive for COVID-19.
“The test result 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 Wednesday evening.
“At that time, tonight’s game was cancelled. The affected player was not in the arena.”
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The statement said the NBA is suspending gameplay after all matches are completed on Wednesday.
“The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic,” it said.
A person with knowledge of the situation said the player who tested positive was Jazz centre Rudy Gobert.
Players were on the floor for warmups and the opening tip was moments away when they were told to return to their locker rooms.
Fans were told about 30 minutes later that the game was postponed “due to unforeseen circumstances.”
The news comes two days after the Toronto Raptors faced off against the Jazz.
ESPN reported late Wednesday that players from teams that played the Jazz within the past 10 days, including the Raptors, have been told to self-quarantine.
Meanwhile, the National Hockey League released a statement Wednesday night in response to the NBA’s decision.
“The NHL is continuing to consult with medical experts and is evaluating the options,” the statement said, adding an update is expected to be given on Thursday.
Shortly before the NBA’s decision was released, U.S. President Donald Trump announced during an Oval Office address a temporary suspension on most travel from Europe as of Friday.
— With files from The Associated Press
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