MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The NBA has suspended its season until further notice due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The league announced the decision Wednesday after a player for the Utah Jazz, reported to be center Rudy Gobert, tested positive for coronavirus.
Gobert’s positive test was reported before the Jazz’s game Wednesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the game was then postponed. Gobert was not in the area Wednesday.
Players were on the floor for warm-ups and tip-off was moments away when they were told to return to their locker rooms. About 30 minutes later, fans were told the game was postponed “due to unforeseen circumstances.”
Those circumstances were the league’s worst-case scenario for now — a player testing positive. A second person who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity said the league expects the shutdown to last a minimum of two weeks, but cautioned that time frame is very fluid.
For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, which declared a pandemic on Wednesday, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.
It has been a worldwide issue for several weeks. And now, it has hit the NBA.
The NBA said in a statement it will use this hiatus to evaluate its next steps.