These kinds of things are just going to happen this season.
As part of the NBA’s daily COVID-19 testing routine, Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles returned a positive test Sunday. Immediately he was worried for his family and called his wife Renae and told her to bring the children to the Jazz practice facility to get tested.
He was certain that if he had contracted the coronavirus then one of them must have it too and with a 4-year-old son that is immunocompromised, it was a scary day.
“Everyone was negative, the whole family was negative,” Ingles said Tuesday via Zoom. “So I retested again on another rapid (test). That came back negative, so then obviously I was incredibly confused.”
Despite the second test, which came back negative, Ingles isolated at a hotel. There was a bit of a mixup with the next round of testing, which was sent to an out-of-state lab. For a few hours the tests were lost but later located at the airport by the lab.
Ingles has now tested negative for COVID-19 a handful of times, was able to return home to his family and rejoin the team. Even with the scare and not being able to practice over the last couple of days, Ingles said that more than anything he is glad his family is safe.
This is how it’s going to be. Mike Conley was already in the league’s protocol during training camp and the preseason because of contact with someone who had tested positive, Royce O’Neale was isolated from the team through the first two preseason games, and now Ingles has had his own experience.
“All the guys were saying the last couple days, texting me and stuff, like I literally do not do anything so they’re all saying, ‘If you’re going to get it doing nothing, then we’re all screwed,’” Ingles said.
Ingles has been incredibly diligent, not going anywhere other than home and the practice facility so his incident with the false positive was frustrating but also put into perspective that even though he’s being careful, there are still risks.
“It was frustrating as well because I knew and felt like I’ve done basically everything I could possibly do to not get it,” Ingles said. “But realizing that there is a chance out there, there is a chance that any of us can get it at any time, and the cases in Utah are still what they are.”
With kids in school and having to take care of essential things, there are risks for everyone on the team. Part of that risk is out of their control so the Jazz have tried to remind everyone to take care of what they can and be as thoughtful as possible in limiting contact with anyone unnecessary.
At least this time the team will not be impacted by the testing mishap. Ingles will play in the season opener Wednesday night in Portland against the Trail Blazers.
Ingles noted that had the false-positive happened one or two days later that it would have meant him missing the first game. Similar situations are going to be inevitable leaguewide this season, so the Jazz were lucky this time around.