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NBA suspends remainder of season after player tests positive for coronavirus

"The NBA announced that a player on the Utah Jazz has preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19," the statement read.
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/ Source: TODAY

The NBA announced plans Wednesday night to suspend the current season after a player tested positive for the coronavirus.

"The NBA announced that a player on the Utah Jazz has preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19," the statement read. "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 statement continued. "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."

In a statement posted Wednesday evening, representatives from the Utah Jazz said they were working closely with government health officials to "determine how to best move forward."

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

According to team officials, the preliminary positive result came back right before the tip-off of Wednesday evening's game.

The NBA's announcement seems to be the biggest move made yet by an athletic organization to react to the coronavirus outbreak, which was deemed a pandemic on Wednesday by the World Health Organization.

Earlier on Wednesday, the NCAA said it had taken the unprecedented step of limiting attendance for its upcoming national championship basketball tournaments. The crowds at the tournament games, which are set to start next week, will be limited to essential staff and family only.

The NBA playoffs were set to start in mid-April. Most teams have fewer than 20 games left in the regular season.