OKC Thunder Game Canceled, NBA Suspends Season After Jazz Player Tests Positive For Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Wednesday, March 11th 2020, 10:23 pm
By: Robert McCarty

A game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Utah Jazz has been postponed Indefinitely and the NBA suspended their season after a player tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). 

The league announced that Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus. The game scheduled between the two teams was delayed and a decision was later made to cancel it. 

Related Story - NBA Season Suspended After Player Tests Positive For Coronavirus (COVID-19)

At the time of this report players are currently under quarantine inside the arena and all attendees have been evacuated. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed the NBA's decision to suspend their season Wednesday evening. 

The NBA released the following statement on its website:

NEW YORK – The NBA announced that a player on the Utah Jazz 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.  At that time, tonight’s game was canceled.  The affected player was not in the arena.

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.


Just after 9 p.m., the Utah Jazz released its own statement:

This morning a player on the Utah Jazz tested negative for influenza, strep throat and an upper respiratory infection. The individual's symptoms diminished over the course of today; however, in a precautionary measure, and in consultation and cooperation with NBA medical staff and Oklahoma health officials, the decision was made to test for COVID-19.

A preliminary positive result came back right before tip-off of the Utah Jazz-Oklahoma City game. Subsequently, the decision was correctly made by the NBA to postpone the game. When it was determined that the individual would be tested, we immediately informed the league office. The health and safety of our players, our organization, those throughout our league, and all those potentially impacted by this situation are paramount in our discussions.

We are working closely with the CDC, Oklahoma and Utah state officials and the NBA to determine how to best move forward as we gather more information. The individual is currently in the care of health officials in Oklahoma City. In coordination with the NBA and state officials, we will provide updates at the appropriate time.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health released the following: 

The NBA has announced that a player on the Utah Jazz has been tested for COVID-19 and received a presumptive positive result. Public health officials were able to obtain the test result before the game’s tip off. This is still an ongoing investigation as public health officials are testing other players and staff who have been in contact with the player. 

Those who were in attendance at the game are not at risk of catching COVID-19. As a reminder, COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets. Only individuals who are in close contact with a person with COVID-19 would be at risk of exposure. 

As we are all aware, COVID-19 is present in Oklahoma. If you are planning to attend a large public event, please check with the event organizers for information in case the event is postponed or cancelled. 

We strongly recommend that people do not attend events if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. And if event attendees start to experience symptoms while at an event or conference, they should leave the event and seek medical advice promptly by calling ahead to a doctor’s office.

Oklahoma’s public health officials work to provide the general public, including event organizers, with guidance intended to help prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19. The following is recommended guidance to follow at all times as the situation continues to change:

  • Wash hands often
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your cough or sneeze
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

We are working closely with our strong and expansive network of national, state and local partners to continue monitoring the situation. All Oklahomans are advised to take social distancing precautions such as implementing telework and avoiding large gatherings when possible. 

We strive to empower Oklahomans through education and resources. To find accurate information on COVID-19, visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health website at coronavirus.health.ok.gov. For questions, please call the OSDH call center for public inquiries at 1-877-215-8336. 

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