With Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert reportedly testing positive for coronavirus Wednesday night -- which has led the NBA to suspend its season -- it brings to mind that Gobert has come in close contact in games with the Boston Celtics twice in the past two weeks.
The Jazz played the Celtics at TD Garden last Friday and on Feb. 26 in Salt Lake City. Gobert played more than 30 minutes in each game. Players on Jazz opponents the past 10 days are being told to self-quarantine, ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported. On Thursday, it was announced that Jazz star Donovan Mitchell has also been diagnosed with COVID-19.
The Celtics issued the following statement on Thursday saying they stand firmly with the NBA in its decision to cancel the season and are monitoring the situation involving the Jazz closely.
"Last night, it was learned that a player on the Utah Jazz preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19, and a second case has been reported this morning. The Celtics played the Jazz on Friday, March 6," the Celtics said. "We have been in constant communication with our Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials, including Larry Madoff MD of the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences at the Department. Specific to the news about the Utah players, the DPH has advised us that based on those players’ health statuses during this period, it is unlikely that anyone from the team came into contact with them while they were contagious."
The team said out of an "abundance of caution," they will have players and staff who were in close contact with the Utah players or who traveled to Milwaukee self-quarantine through the weekend, during which time they will be tested.
"The safety of our fans, players, staff, and media is of paramount importance to us, and we will continue to monitor developments and provide information as we work with league and health officials through this situation," the Celtics said.
The Celtics flew back in to Hanscom Field on Thursday afternoon.
In addition to the Celtics, the Jazz have played the Cleveland Cavaliers, the New York Knicks, the Detroit Pistons and the Toronto Raptors in the past 10 days. By ESPN's estimate, Gobert has shared the floor with 34 players since Friday.
In the Feb. 26 game in Utah, Gobert was photographed shaking hands with Celtics center Vincent Poirier, who, like Gobert, is from France.
The Jazz released a statement - and without naming Gobert - said that one of their players who did test positive is "under the care of health officials in Oklahoma City" - where Utah's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed Wednesday night.
From the Jazz: pic.twitter.com/v8WCH3g27u— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) March 12, 2020
On Monday, Gobert appeared to be trying to make a point about overreacting to the virus when he leaned over to touch media microphones and recorders left at the podium where he was speaking.
As part of the Jazz's COVID-19 response, shootaround availability was done in the ZBBC media room today rather than on the court. As Rudy Gobert got finished discussing the situation, he stood up, leaned over and made it a point to touch every mic and recorder in front of him. 😂— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) March 9, 2020
Here's Rudy Gobert touching a bunch of reporters' audio equipment 2 days ago. Today, he tested positive for coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/Z3Lw1yfCfW— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 12, 2020