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Wizards self-quarantine for coronavirus in hard pivot from earlier stance to let fans attend NBA games


The Washington Wizards have decided to self-quarantine in the wake of the NBA’s decision to suspend operations for the next two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, the team announced on Thursday.

“Under the direction of team and MedStar medical staff, the Washington Wizards have advised players, coaches and basketball operations personnel to self-quarantine for the next three to four days. The decision was made with an abundance of caution due to the team’s recent game schedule, which saw them play at Utah on Feb. 29 and against New York (who played Utah on Mar. 4) on Mar. 10.”

While they are the first team to take this initiative on their own after the Utah Jazz and five other teams were told to do so, the Wizards had a starkly different stance less than 24 hours ago (h/t Fred Katz of The Athletic).

“Today, the DC Department of Health recommended “that non-essential mass gatherings, including conferences and conventions, be postponed or cancelled,” the statement read. “Per DC Health, mass gatherings are defined as events where 1,000 or more people are congregating in a specific location.

“At the current direction of the NBA and NHL, our games will go on as scheduled and be open to spectators.”

So that turned around quickly…

It might have been Rudy Gobert’s positive testing that forced the Wizards to do a 180 on this matter, considering some of their players could have contracted the coronavirus after playing the Jazz two weeks ago.

The NBA is on its toes during this epidemic and so are the teams that have come in contact with the Jazz. Even if it took Gobert’s malady to change their minds, it’s a good sign that the Wizards are taking the right precautions to keep their employees safe — even if the NBA had to force their hand at first.