Member of Denver Nuggets organization tests positive for COVID-19

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone argues with referee Matt Myers during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Mar 7, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone argues with referee Matt Myers during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

According to a press release sent out by the Denver Nuggets, a member of their organization tested positive for COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus.

The unnamed member of the Nuggets organization was tested after showing symptoms on March 16th. He test results came back positive for COVID-19 on March 19th.

Here is the full press release it its entirety:

On Thursday, March 19th, a member of the Denver Nuggets organization tested positive for COVID-19. The person, who was tested after experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 on March 16th, is currently under the care of team medical staff and in self-isolation. The testing was undertaken following guidance from state public health officials and team physicians.

The health and safety of our players, our organization, those throughout our league, and all those potentially impacted by this situation is paramount.

The Nuggets 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.

With the individual being unnamed, it is impossible to know if it is a player, team official, member of the coaching staff or front office, but regardless of those unknowns they now represent the eighth member of the National Basketball Association to test positive for coronavirus.

Even with the person remaining unnamed, a report from Adam Mares of DNVR noted that the Nuggets do not plan to have any players tested for COVID-19 unless they exhibit symptoms, which is in accordance with state protocol, and that no players have been tested which ultimately rules out any member of the Nuggets roster.

A Nuggets spokesman would not reveal to Mile High Sports if it was a player who tested positive or not.

To be frank, it does not matter who tested positive. Prior to the announcement, it already seemed inevitable that someone involved with the Nuggets organization would contract the virus. But what comes next?

According to the release, whoever tested positive is self-isolated and under the care of the team medical staff. That is a necessary first step, but it does not seem that the Nuggets are following up on additional steps that could be beneficial.

According to reporting done by Mike Singer of The Denver Post and by Sam Amick of The Athletic, the test used to diagnose the Nuggets was not acquired through private means, but from the state-run lab.

This is meaningful because the vast majority of American citizens, even those who are gravely ill, are having an incredibly difficult time getting tested for COVID-19 while the wealthy have been disproportionally tested.

In Denver, there has been a website created to help with information about the coronavirus and getting tested, but when you attempt to find a location to get tested for COVID-19, it directs people to go to their primary care provider who will then tell you to go to a private lab to get tested. The only issue with that is that in Denver, there are not any private labs testing for COVID-19. To make matters worse, the state-run lab is taking up to five days to get testing results confirmed because they are overwhelmed with samples to test.

That is why the outage is more than valid. Many feel that the rich and powerful are able to get these COVID-19 tests seemingly on demand while the rest of the public, who could be showing symptoms or already critically ill, are being ignored.

While this blame is not entirely on the shoulders of the Nuggets organization — it can mostly be chalked up to the lack of interest in prevention of a pandemic by a negligent government — it is hard not to wonder why they did not choose to get their testing done at a private lab like the Brooklyn Nets did to avoid adding additional stress to a health care system which is already stretched dangerously thin. It is also hard not to wonder why the rest of the team and traveling party is not being tested by a private lab as well considering one of their own has now contracted COVID-19.

Maybe Colorado’s lack of a private lab played a part in those decisions, but it seems that the Nuggets chose not to take additional precautions despite having the ability to take them.

Yes, the Nuggets are following state protocol, but if their organization has the means to get their entire team and organization tested privately, that should be one of the first steps taken, but unfortunately that does not seem the reality.

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