NBA referee Courtney Kirkland tests negative for coronavirus
NBA referee Courtney Kirkland has tested negative for the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to ESPN’s Eric Woodyard. Doctors have given Kirkland permission to leave the Sacramento area.
Kirkland has been quarantined in California’s capital city since Wednesday. He was slated to ref the game between the Kings and visiting New Orleans Pelicans. The matchup was suspended just prior to tipoff shortly after the game between Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was halted. That game was halted due to reports that Jazz center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the coronavirus. Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell also tested positive. Kirkland had officiated Utah’s prior game—against the Toronto Raptors in Salt Lake City on Monday.
After the league suspended its regular season Wednesday night in the wake of Gobert’s positive test, Kirkland separated himself from friends and family and underwent a coronavirus test on Thursday morning. Fortunately, Kirkland has now been cleared for all activities without restrictions after testing negative.
The Raptors announced Saturday that all the members of their team have tested negative for the virus. Although some folks are still self-isolating.
COVID-19 Update pic.twitter.com/GYpKAxXrRv
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) March 14, 2020
Despite being just 45 years old, Kirkland has worked NBA games for two full decades. He has officiated over 1,200 regular season games and 25 postseason contests.