Two players from the Utah Jazz have tested positive for the coronavirus, and the ripple effect is having an impact on the Boston Celtics.

The Jazz played in Boston last Friday. On Thursday, Utah’s Donovan Mitchell confirmed that he has tested positive, saying that he is personally dealing with the pandemic that has temporarily shut down the NBA and other major sports leagues. Later, his Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert – the first NBA player to test positive on Wednesday, which prompted the league to suspend the season – also confirmed his status and apologized. “I was careless and make no excuse,” Gobert said in an Instagram post.

Commissioner Adam Silver announced Thursday night that the shutdown will last at least 30 days.

Mitchell’s positive test was not known until early Thursday, the first full day of the NBA’s hiatus. Jazz players, staff and some beat writers covering the team were tested Wednesday night in Oklahoma City, where Utah was to play the Thunder in a game that was called off moments before tipoff once word about Gobert’s positive test was received.

Also Thursday, the Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors – teams that have all recently played against Gobert, Mitchell and the Jazz – all said that they were having some players and staff self-quarantine for as many as 14 days. The Cleveland Cavaliers, another team that has recently faced Utah, said they are not mandating quarantines yet but would if any of their players exhibit symptoms.

The Celtics said in a statement they have been constant communication with Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials. The Celtics believe it is unlikely that anyone from the team came into contact with Gobert or Mitchell while they were contagious. But out of an abundance of caution the Celtics are having players and staff who were in close contact with Jazz players or who traveled to Milwaukee on Wednesday to self-quarantine through the weekend. Players and staff will then be tested for the virus.


The Celtics on Wednesday were preparing to play the first-place Bucks in a nationally televised game Thursday, but they were left trying to find out when charter flight arrangements could be made to get them home.

“I think the whole thing is pretty insane how it unraveled so fast,” Gordon Hayward told the Boston Herald. “Like, we were just at dinner talking about how we were going to play the Bucks and everything, and then all of a sudden it’s like, boom, the season’s suspended.

“So it’s just in a matter of hours we go from watching film on the Bucks and then now we’re worried about how we’re going to get home – if we’re going to get home.”

According to reports, the Celtics did travel home from Milwaukee on Wednesday night.

According to, the Jazz practiced at Emerson College last week prior to Friday’s game against the Celtics. Those practices are generally closed to students and staff. In a statement, Emerson College said it “continues to take every precaution to safeguard the health and well-being of our community, including more frequent and targeted disinfection of facilities and surfaces.”

Mitchell shared his sentiments on Thursday.


“Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test,” Mitchell wrote in an Instagram post. “We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them.”

Gobert was not among those behaving responsibly.

It started as a joke: Before leaving a media session at shootaround in Salt Lake City on Monday in advance of a game against Detroit, Gobert touched all the tape recorders that were placed before him on a table, devices that reporters who cover the Jazz were using.

“You know, there’s not much we can do right now,” Gobert said in that session when asked about how teams are dealing with the virus. And a minute or so later, before he ran out a side door, he touched all the recorders.

It isn’t so funny now, not with two Jazz players now having tested positive for the virus, and with a league on edge. It is not known if Gobert is responsible for Mitchell contracting the virus or vice versa.

“The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected,” Gobert wrote.

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