Police: Westerly child with COVID-19 received autograph from infected Jazz player during Celtics game

Coronavirus
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WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Of the nine new presumptive positive cases of the coronavirus in Rhode Island, one of which included a child from Westerly who recently received an autograph from a Utah Jazz player with the virus, town officials confirmed Friday.

Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said two kids from Westerly tested positive: one is a 2nd grader at Springbrook Elementary School, the other, a toddler, lives in Westerly but attends preschool in Mystic, Connecticut. He said the children are not related.

As a result, Westerly Superintendent Mark Garceau said Springbrook students and staff have been asked to self-quarantine through March 25.

Lacey said one of the children had recently returned from a cruise to the Bahamas, and the other had received an autograph from one of the two Utah Jazz players who tested positive for the virus when the team played the Boston Celtics this past weekend.

He did not specify which child attended the NBA game, which was played at the TD Garden in Boston. It’s also unclear which player, Rudy Gobert or Donovan Mitchell, gave the child the autograph, or if that is exactly where the child contracted the virus.

The Boston Celtics released a statement Friday on the situation, saying they were told by health officials that it was unlikely the players were contagious during the game.

“Specific to the news about the Utah players, the [Massachusetts Department of Public Health] has advised us that based on those players’ health statuses during this period, it is unlikely that anyone from the team came into contact with them while they were contagious,” the statement reads.

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