The Utah Jazz and their staff are cleared of the coronavirus, according to the team. Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tested positive two weeks ago, putting the sports world on hold.
“The Utah Department of Health has determined that all Jazz players and staff, regardless of prior testing status, no longer pose a risk of infection to others,” the Jazz announced.
That statement leaves a lot of unanswered questions. How did the DOH reach that determination?
“The entire traveling party was directed to remain on a 14-day quarantine when it returned to Utah,” a spokesman for the Utah DOH told the Daily News. “The 14-day period has expired and they have all been released from quarantine.
“None have developed symptoms during their quarantine, and that is the standard for being released from quarantine.”
“Released from quarantine” is a bit different than “no longer pose a risk of infection to others,” though. Public health experts say the only way to test if someone is immune to the coronavirus is a blood antibody test. Those tests are scarce in the United States, and the Utah DOH says it just based its decision on the end of the 14-day period.
Did the Jazz overreach by declaring that their players “no longer pose a risk of infection to others”? The Utah DOH told the News that it did review the NBA franchise’s statement in advance. It’s not clear how the Jazz could definitively claim that they can’t spread the infection to others.
Every member of the franchise’s traveling party for the game against the Thunder on March 11 except for Gobert and Mitchell tested negative for the virus. The NBA postponed the rest of the season the same night and the league remains in limbo.
The Jazz say they will “practice social distancing and limit time outside of their homes to essential activities.”
Utah and Salt Lake City do not have stay-at-home orders.
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