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A second Utah Jazz player tests positive for coronavirus as a suspended NBA considers next steps

NBA suspends season until further notice
NBA suspends season until further notice

A second Utah Jazz player has tested positive for coronavirus, the NBA team said Thursday, a day after the league abruptly suspended its season because of news that the virus had impacted the Utah club.

According to the Associated Press, Donovan Mitchell tested positive for coronavirus.

Meanwhile, at least two teams that recently played the Jazz -- the Toronto Raptors and the Washington Wizards -- say their players and staff have been advised to go into self-isolation as a precaution.

Earlier, ESPN and other media outlets reported that Jazz all-star center Rudy Gobert tested positive shortly before his team’s planned game Wednesday night against the host Oklahoma City Thunder.

"As a follow-up to yesterday's positive COVID-19 test, Oklahoma health

officials tested all members of the Utah Jazz traveling party, confirming one additional positive outcome for a Jazz player," the Jazz said Thursday.

"We are working closely with the CDC, Oklahoma and Utah state officials, and the NBA to monitor their health and determine the best path moving forward.

The NBA first postponed the Jazz-Thunder game Wednesday night, and then announced not long afterward that it would suspend the season after that night's slate of games nationwide, after a Jazz player preliminarily tested positive for the virus.

The first affected player was not in the arena, the league said. The player is in the care of health officials in Oklahoma City, according to the Jazz, which also did not name the player.

"The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic," the NBA, which also did not name the first positive Jazz player, said in a statement.

Four other NBA games were played Wednesday night -- but one other, a tilt between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Sacramento Kings in California, was called off because a referee assigned to work the game had previously worked a Jazz game, the NBA said.

The NBA's suspension is an outlier for professional sports in the United States, a country more used to seeing leagues stop or shrink seasons because of labor issues or, more rarely, war.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many US sports organizations to consider adjustments, including canceling events and holding games without fans. The National Hockey League said Wednesday night it is still evaluating the options and will have an update on Thursday.