The NBA announced Wednesday evening that it is suspending the 2019-2020 basketball season after a player tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice,” the association said in a statement. “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
The NBA’s suspension comes after a Utah Jazz player tested positive at a game Wednesday evening. The affected player is reportedly Utah Jazz all-star Rudy Gobert.
Players from both the Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder walked off the court right before the game began. Fans were then asked to leave the arena.
“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 its Wednesday statement. “At that time, tonight’s game was canceled. The affected player was not in the arena.”
Earlier in the day, the Utah Jazz tweeted that players Emmanuel Mudiay and Gobert were both ill. Gobert is the only player who has reportedly tested positive for the virus.
Utah’s last game was Monday at home against the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors beat the Jazz 101-92 to wrap up their five-game road trip.
ESPN reported players from teams that played the Jazz within the past 10 days, including the Raptors, have been told to self-quarantine.
Both Jazz and Thunder players were “currently quarantined” in the Oklahoma City arena, according to ESPN.
The player who tested positive is currently being taken care of by health officials in Oklahoma City, according to the Jazz.
“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,” the team said in a statement. “We are working closely with the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], Oklahoma and Utah state officials and the NBA to determine how to best move forward as we gather more information.
The National Hockey League released a statement about the remainder of its season after the NBA’s suspension.
The league “is aware of the NBA’s decision tonight to indefinitely suspend its season due to a player testing positive for the coronavirus,” the hockey organization said Wednesday. “The NHL is continuing to consult with medical experts and is evaluating the options. We expect to have a further update tomorrow.”
With files from The Associated Press