After Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and guard Donovan Mitchell tested positive for the coronavirus, a 76ers official confirmed Thursday that the team is trying to arrange for players and staff to receive COVID-19 testing.
The Sixers also advised their players, coaches, and select support staff to begin a temporary self-quarantine.
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On Thursday evening, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said on TNT that the NBA is out for at least 30 days.
Late Thursday afternoon, before Silver appeared on TV, the Sixers released this statement:
“The Philadelphia 76ers are supportive of the NBA’s decision to suspend the season. The health and well-being of our fans, players, staff members, partners, and communities are of the utmost importance, and we remain in close communication with the NBA, public health, state and local officials in charting a path forward.
“As we navigate the coming weeks, we recognize that our staff members are family and the heartbeat of the organization. As such, we are committed to assisting our arena associates through this period.”
On Thursday, the Pistons released this statement about the situation:
“The Detroit Pistons are working closely with team doctors and public officials regarding COVID-19 and the news overnight that a Utah Jazz player had preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19 and the NBA has suspended play until further notice.
"The Jazz played the Pistons on Saturday (March 7) at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. While there is no indication that the novel coronavirus was passed to any Pistons player or staff member, out of an abundance of caution medical staff has asked players, coaches, basketball staff, and traveling parties to self-isolate until further notice under the direction of team medical staff.
“As a further precaution, the organization has directed all employees to work from home for the rest of this week while we consult with medical advisers regarding potential risk and mitigation.”
The most pressing question for the Sixers is whether they are vulnerable.
“The question is that if a Pistons player picked it up, then could they be transmitting it by [Wednesday],” Michael J. Imperiale, associate chair of microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School, said in a phone interview. “Unfortunately we don’t fully understand how much transmission can occur before somebody has symptoms. The best answer is maybe.”
There is still so much the medical world is learning about the virus.
“The median time from infection until symptoms is five days,” said Mike Levy, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. ‘That is the median, so that means half the people get it before that and half after that. I suspect people are infectious before they show symptoms, but I really don’t know when the infectious period starts following the exposure yet."
Added Imperiale: “We certainly are learning more, but there are a lot of things that we still don’t know, like for example this issue if whether people who don’t have symptoms can transmit.”
Right now all areas, from the medical field to athletes to workers, are all looking to increase their knowledge.