The Celtics said in a statement Thursday afternoon that Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials have informed them it is unlikely that the two Utah Jazz players who have tested positive for coronavirus were contagious when they came into contact with the Celtics in their game at TD Garden last Friday.
Nevertheless, the Celtics said they are “exercising an abundance of caution in taking every measure to be vigilant and safe,” and that players and staff members who were in close contact with the Jazz, or who traveled with the team on its recent two-game road trip to Indianapolis and Milwaukee, will be self-quarantined through the weekend.
During that time, all players will be tested for coronavirus, along with staffers who came into contact with the Jazz, or those who show possible virus symptoms. The Celtics returned home from Milwaukee Thursday afternoon.
The Jazz said that one player tested positive for coronavirus Wednesday and a second player tested positive Thursday morning. According to numerous reports, those players are All-Stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.
The Celtics said they have been in constant communication with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, including Dr. Larry Madoff of the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences.
“The safety of our fans, players, staff, and media is of paramount importance to us,” the team said, “and we will continue to monitor developments and provide information as we work with league and health officials through this situation.”
A TD Garden source said that health department officials have also made it clear that the risk to those who attended Friday’s game is believed to be extremely low.
Gobert and Mitchell, Utah’s two highest-profile players, started Friday’s game. They slapped five and hugged teammates as they were introduced and prepared to take the court, and then Mitchell could be seen slapping five with Celtics players, too.
‘The safety of our fans, players, staff, and media is of paramount importance to us, and we will continue to monitor developments and provide information as we work with league and health officials through this situation.’
Statement from the Celtics
During play, there was plenty of general physical contact involving players from both teams, particularly Gobert, a post player. But it was not unlike any other basketball game.
The NBA on Wednesday suspended the season indefinitely, and the NHL on Thursday followed suit.
Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach.