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Thursday 12 March 2020

NBA suspends its season after player tests positive for coronavirus

The National Basketball Association is suspending its season after a player tested positive for coronavirus.

The league made the announcement on Wednesday night after the NBA game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was abruptly postponed.

The players from both teams were already on the court at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City for warm-ups when they were called back to the locker rooms to inform them about a player who has been infected with coronavirus.

The NBA said the affected player was not in the arena and the test results were reported shortly before tip-off.

"The NBA is suspending gameplay following the conclusion of tonight's schedule of games until further notice," the NBA said in a statement. "The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic."

“A player on the Utah Jazz preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19. The test result was reported shortly prior to the tipoff,” according to the news release.

“At that time, tonight’s game was canceled. The affected player was not in the arena.”

In a statement, the Utah Jazz said a player on the team tested negative for influenza, strep throat and an upper respiratory infection Wednesday morning.

"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," the team said.

The player is in the care of health officials in Oklahoma City, the team said.

"We wish this player a full and speedy recovery, and appreciate the work of health officials in Oklahoma to test a member of the Utah Jazz for COVID-19, as well as their prudent decision to test the entire team at this time," Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox said in a joint statement.

They also added that they are working to identify individuals who have had close enough contact with the player as to have been potentially exposed.

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