Jazz Thunder Basketball

The Oklahoma City Thunder leave the court before an NBA game against the Utah Jazz was postponed in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 11, 2020.

NORMAN, Okla. — The Norman Transcript newspaper has quarantined its Oklahoma Thunder sportswriter for 14 days because of his close contact at Wednesday night’s game with a member of the Utah Jazz staff.

The Thunder-Jazz game was called off just before tipoff at the downtown Oklahoma City basketball arena because a Jazz player had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Transcript Publisher Mark Millsap said sportswriter Clay Horning had talked with the Utah Jazz  press person before the game was scheduled to get underway.

Millsap said Transcript photographer Kyle Phillips also attended the game, but he did not come in close contact with any of the Jazz players or team staff. Phillips will self-quarantine for four days.  

Millsap said the action was initiated out of an abundance of caution to determine if Horning or Phillips show any symptoms of the virus while quarantined.

The Thunder-Jazz game drew a crowd of several thousand. It was called off at 7:37 p.m .when game officials got the word Utah center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the coronavirus. He was not in the arena at the time.

Thursday morning, it was announced a second Utah player, guard Donovan Mitchell, had also tested positive for the virus.

Following the canceled game, Jazz players and traveling staff were tested for the coronavirus. Thunder players and staff were told to go home and await further instructions on possible testing.

“Oklahoma health officials tested all members of the Utah Jazz traveling party, confirming one additional positive outcome for a Jazz player,” the Utah team said in a statement.

 “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 Oklahoma State Health Department said fans at the Wednesday night game were not at risk of getting the virus. “Only individuals who are in close contact with a person with COVID-19 would be at risk of exposure,” said the department.

In the past 10 days, the Utah Jazz have played the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors. Those teams have been asked to self-quarantine by the NBA for two weeks.

The NBA season has been indefinitely suspended because of the two Jazz players testing positive for the coronavirus.

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