NBA Star Tests Positive for COVID-19 After Encore Boston Harbor Visit

  • Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell played in the high-limit area for an hour on March 5
  • Interacted with seven people who have since been informed and advised about what to do
  • Wynn Resorts has now canceled all entertainment and public gatherings at its casinos
positive test for coronavirus
It has been reported that Utah Jazz player Donavan Mitchell tested positive for coronavirus after visiting Encore Boston Harbor casino last week. [Image:]

Everett casino left reeling

The patron who reportedly tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) after visiting the Encore Boston Harbor casino last week was NBA star Donovan Mitchell.

Mitchell plays for Utah Jazz. He is believed to be the first NBA player to test positive for coronavirus. As a result of this diagnosis, the NBA decided to halt all games for the foreseeable future.

first NBA player to test positive for coronavirus

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission confirmed on Thursday that someone who had visited the casino had tested positive for the virus. The fact that this patron was Mitchell was first reported by the Boston Globe

The gaming commission is now working alongside the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Wynn Resorts, the owner of the casino, in order to assess the situation and to formulate a plan of action. 

Mitchell played in the high-limit area

The NBA star visited the casino on March 5. He was not exhibiting any symptoms at this time. He gambled at the casino for approximately one hour. He came into direct contact with a total of seven people during this time, according to the commission.

These seven people have been notified by the casino and have since entered into a phase of self-isolation. However, the commission noted that the risk of exposure for these people is minimal and that this is simply a precautionary measure.

The commission has since told the casino to ramp up its practices relating to the sanitization of the facility. Through the gaming commission’s press release, it said: “The MGC is making every effort to maintain a safe and healthy work environment, while closely following guidance issued by federal, state, and public health officials.”

Restrictions put in place

Encore Boston Harbor issued a statement relating to the matter on its website on Thursday afternoon.

Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox said that its casinos in Las Vegas and Boston would no longer be hosting large gatherings for entertainment purposes. This means that patrons will no longer be able to enjoy theaters, nightclubs, or buffets at these venues.

patrons will no longer be able to enjoy theaters, nightclubs, or buffets

“Non-invasive thermal cameras” will also be deployed at every casino entrance to identify patrons with a high temperature. One of the main symptoms of coronavirus is having a fever. Another measure will be social distancing to ensure adequate space if left between visitors.

All employees will continue to receive their full pay, and the situation will be monitored in case any circumstances change in the days and weeks ahead. 

Casino industry struggling

As a result of the coronavirus spreading aross the globe, casinos have been struggling. Share prices of the major casino companies have tanked in recent days due to the impact on tourism and travel.

Casinos in Macau already shut down completely for 15 days in February to try to stop the spread of the virus. This resulted in revenue plummeting by 88% year-on-year.

Some casinos in the US and Canada also have closed in recent days. All facilities are ramping up their efforts to ensure that facilities are clean and patrons are protected as much as humanly possible.

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