The National Basketball Association announced Wednesday it would be suspending the season after a player on the Utah Jazz team tested positive for the novel Wuhan coronavirus.
“The test results was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of tonight’s game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena,” located in Oklahoma City, the NBA said in a statement.
“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,” the association added.
After Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested for coronavirus, Tony Jones of The Athletic reported that both locker rooms were being quarantined, and players were not allowed to leave the arena.
The NBA’s recent decision to suspend but not cancel the season follows the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s announcement that it would hold its games this year without fans, including the Division I men’s and women’s tournaments this spring.
“I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement.
— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) March 11, 2020
The new coronavirus that originated in the Chinese province of Wuhan and has now stretched around the world culminating in a global pandemic has resulted in mass event cancellations worldwide, including lockdowns in nations hit the hardest such as China and Italy.
As the virus spreads in the United States, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that the administration would be implementing a travel ban on Europe, with an exception for the United Kingdom and American citizens who undergo a special screening.
In a prime time Oval Office address, Trump urged Americans to practice good hygiene and heed the advice of public health officials encouraging social distancing. Dozens of major events that draw thousands every year are now joining the spring basketball games in being cancelled or postponed including music festivals Coachella which will now take place this fall, and Ultra which will not be held at all.