- Covers the Oklahoma City Thunder for ESPN.com
All Oklahoma City Thunder players and staffers tested for COVID-19 received negative results for the virus, the team announced Wednesday.
Based on their exposure to the virus before their game against the Utah Jazz on March 11, in consultation with health officials, elected to have players and staff tested.
However, “recognizing the stress on the the state of Oklahoma’s medical system,” Thunder pursued an alternative route for testing, using a private lab. It’s unknown exactly when samples were collected and shipped, but it took days for the Thunder to receive results.
“The Thunder will continue to work in coordination with team physicians, public health officials and infectious disease experts, while focusing on the health and safety of everyone in our community,” the release said.
Jazz center Rudy Gobert was the first player to test positive for the coronavirus, with results from his test coming in minutes before tipoff against the Thunder. Gobert, however, was never in the arena around Thunder players or staff.
The entire 58-person traveling party for the Jazz were tested, with a positive result for Donovan Mitchell being announced the following morning. Mitchell was in the arena prior to the game March 11, going through his regular pregame warmup and interacting with ball boys, courtside fans and Thunder players.
Gobert was the first positive test result in Oklahoma City. To date, Oklahoma’s latest count is 29, though the two Jazz players are not included in the state’s official numbers.
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