NBA Star Latest Casino Visitor to Reportedly Test Positive for Coronavirus

From the Encore Boston Harbor to The Mirage in Las Vegas, some recent visitors at US gaming properties are subsequently getting positive tests for COVID-19. It has been reported by the Boston Globe that Utah Jazz basketball star Donovan Mitchell went to the Encore on March 5, where he played in the high limit area of the gaming floor.

NBA Player Donovan Mitchell confirmed he tested positive for coronavirus. Earlier, he reportedly visited the Encore Boston Harbor. (Image: CBS Sports)

On Thursday, Mitchell confirmed that he has tested positive for coronavirus, news reports said. Mitchell was in Boston on March 5 when his team played the Celtics on March 6, the Globe reported.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) announced in a statement on Thursday that a March 5 unnamed visitor at the Encore later tested positive for coronavirus. The commission said the person was at the Encore for about an hour.

The person was not showing symptoms when at the Encore, based on statements from Massachusetts public health officials. But the individual came into contact with about seven people while at the Wynn Resorts-owned property, news reports said.

Each of the people were notified of the possible exposure. The risk of them getting the virus is minimal, the gaming commission said, based on statements from health officials. The at-risk Encore employees were placed on paid leave.

Like Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, who also plays for the Jazz, confirmed he tested positive for COVID-19. The NBA announced its decision this week to suspend the pro basketball season because of the threat from the illness.

Some NBA team members and staff who came into contact with Mitchell and Gobert recently will self-quarantine for up to two weeks.

ESPN reported that Jazz players were “privately saying that Gobert showed a cavalier attitude toward the virus in the locker room, touching teammates and their belongings. At Monday’s media availability, Gobert was seen touching all the microphones and tape recorders at the end of his session with reporters.”

Massachusetts Gaming Commission Monitoring Encore Incident

“The MGC is working in close consultation with public health authorities and with Encore and Wynn executives to identify the facts, assess the situation, and determine next steps,” the gaming commission said in the statement. “Public health authorities have informed the MGC and Encore that, based on their review of the facts, the individual was asymptomatic … on March 5.”

Consequently, … the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by persons who came into contact with this individual at Encore is minimal…. Encore has reported that, out of an abundance of caution, all identified individuals have agreed to self-quarantine measures,” the gaming commission statement adds.

The Encore has enhanced its cleaning in response to risk from COVID-19. Encore Boston Harbor is also planning to take the temperatures of all guests and employees entering the property.

Mirage Las Vegas Guest Hospitalized after Positive Test

Also, a woman who was a guest at The Mirage in Las Vegas has tested positive for COVID-19. The female guest at the MGM Resorts-owned hotel appears to be the first person who stayed at any Las Vegas property who is likely to have the illness. She is in her 40s and is from New York.

The unidentified woman was hospitalized on March 8 and is isolated and was reported to be in stable condition. She arrived in Las Vegas on March 5 to attend the Women of Power Summit at The Mirage, which ran through March 8.

MGM said professional cleaners deep cleaned and sanitized the individual’s room with disinfectants.

“We are currently coordinating with the Southern Nevada Health District [SNHD] to notify guests and employees who may have had close prolonged contact with the individual and are directing our employees to follow all self-quarantine requests,” an MGM statement adds.

Valley Forge Casino Shuttered

Pennsylvania’s Valley Forge Casino Resort was closed “until further notice” by Boyd Gaming on Friday. The King of Prussia property did not have any players who are known to have coronavirus, but Boyd Gaming chose to shutter the casino for the health of employees and players.

Elsewhere, New York’s MGM-owned Yonkers Raceway was shuttered Tuesday after a long-time trainer and office worker afflicted with coronavirus died. The Wildhorse Resort & Casino in Oregon closed for two days recently for a deep cleaning “out of an abundance of caution” after one of its workers was declared presumptive positive for COVID-19.

News also came this week that a female hospital worker in her 60s from Bethlehem, Connecticut was believed to have been exposed to coronavirus while visiting Nevada. She flew back to Connecticut, according to television station WVIT, and is now receiving appropriate healthcare. It is not immediately known where she stayed while in Nevada.

In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Stephen Miller, director of UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research, said coronavirus is “clearly going to affect the tourism sector.” If the outbreak leads to a recession, Las Vegas would “probably feel it more than other metro areas,” Miller adds.

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