WESTERLY — Two of the additional Rhode Island cases of the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus announced Friday were juvenile residents of Westerly, one of whom got an autograph last week from an NBA player who infected by the virus, the police chief announced.
Chief Shawn Lacey said at a news conference Friday that both patients were children. One is a second-grader at Springbrook Elementary School, and the other is a Westerly resident who attends a preschool in Connecticut.
Lacey said at a news conference that, according to the information the town received, one of the students had recently returned from a cruise to the Bahamas, while another had been to an NBA game in Boston last week and got an autograph from a player who contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Lacey did not specify which player; the Boston Celtics played the Utah Jazz on March 6. Two Jazz players have tested positive for COVID-19, according to published reports.
The Boston Celtics said in a statement Thursday night that 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 also said: “The safety of our fans, players, staff, and media is of paramount importance to us, and we will continue to monitor developments and provide information as we work with league and health officials through this situation.”
The public schools in Westerly, as throughout Rhode Island, will be out next week, said Lacey, who is also the acting town manager. Town Hall will remain open, Lacey said at a news conference streamed live via Facebook.
Students and staff at the Springbrook Elementary School are on a two-week quarantine going forward, officials said.
Gov. Gina Raimondo on Friday announced nine more people had tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total in Rhode Island to 14. The figure includes presumptive positive and confirmed cases.
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