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March 19, 2020

Three members of Sixers test positive for COVID-19

Sixers NBA
18_Sixers_76ers_huddle_KateFrese.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

The Philadelphia 76ers huddle before taking the court at the Wells Fargo Center.

Three members of the Sixers organization have tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced in a statement on Thursday evening.

In a statement sent out to members of the media, the Sixers did not reveal who within the organization had tested positive, saying that various members connected to the basketball operations department had been tested, but stressed that the individuals who tested positive would be closely monitored by medical professionals.

The Philadelphia 76ers, in consultation with medical experts and the NBA, received the recommendation that certain individuals from the organization, including players, coaches and specific basketball operations support staff, be tested for COVID-19. The tests were secured and processed privately. 

 Three individuals have received positive test results for COVID-19. All other tests results are currently negative. We have reported this information to state and local health authorities as required. 

Pursuant to CDC guidelines, the individuals are in self-isolation and will be monitored closely by medical professionals. 

The health of our players, staff, fans and community is paramount, and we continue to be guided by medical experts at this time. 

We extend our gratitude and appreciation to the public health and medical communities for their tireless efforts during these challenging times, as well as to our fans and partners for their support.

Prior to playing last Wednesday's game against the Detroit Pistons, the city of Philadelphia's Department of Public Health recommended that people should not attend gatherings of more than 5,000 people. While precautions have have escalated dramatically since that was passed along last Tuesday, the Sixers responded to that call by saying publicly that they had not been given a mandate from the city, only a recommendation.

"We are aware of the recommendation offered today by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health," a Sixers team official told PhillyVoice last Tuesday evening, "which included no mandates to postpone or cancel events, so there are no changes to our game schedule at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation, in coordination with the NBA and Wells Fargo Center."

Detroit's Christian Wood, who spent much of the game matched up with Joel Embiid and Al Horford, is one of the players who has tested positive for COVID-19 since the league was suspended. 

While it's impossible to know who Philadelphia's positive tests belong to, it remains clear that the decision to play last Wednesday's game in an arena with thousands of fans in attendance was an ill-advised decision at best, which was clear in advance of the game being played.

More to come...

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