ESPN’s Doris Burke revealed on Friday that she tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus that has spread in a global pandemic that’s shut down much of the world. Burke, a legendary basketball broadcaster beloved in the NBA, appeared on ESPN colleague Adrian Wojnarowski’s podcast to share the news.
Doris Burke joins The Woj Pod to reveal she's tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. She details her symptoms, her hospital testing experience, recovery and goal of sharing importance of social distancing and other measures underway to combat pandemic. https://t.co/4RAbMO5LPL
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 27, 2020
It’s initially unclear how Burke contracted the virus, which is spread quickly and is easily transmitted from person to person. But Burke was working NBA games in the lead-up to the season’s suspension when it was revealed that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the virus. She reflected on when she first started feeling symptoms, which apparently appeared in mid-March.
“What is interesting for me and what I would hope that people would know, because like most Americans, I think I had been tuning in and reading and trying to understand what symptoms were, etcetera etcetera,” Burke said on the podcast. “But basically, on March 11, I remember sitting at lunch with my broadcast crew for that evening, which is standard for us to have a lunch production meeting, and I looked at my colleagues, Ryan Ruocco and Ian Gruca, my producer, and I said, ‘Man, I am so tired right now and my head is pounding.’ And looking back, those were my symptoms.”
Burke said she started to have symptoms the morning that Gobert had his positive test, and things got worse from there. By early next week, she had no energy and was struggling to even get out of bed.
“I kid you not, I could not get out of bed for five minutes without needing to go back to bed and laying down,” she said. “It was that Tuesday (March 17) I was thinking, I don’t have any of the normal symptoms, but it seems to me I should probably get tested.”
Burke said the test results took eight days, and she’s now symptom-free, which is both alarming and a relief, in that order. As the latest person in the NBA world to reveal her positive test, it shows just how far this has spread and how quickly the virus can impact a wide swath of the population if preventative social distancing is not followed and life resumes as normal. In the days and weeks that followed Gobert’s initial test, several NBA players had also tested positive for COVID-19, including Gobert’s Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell and Kevin Durant, who wasn’t playing for the Brooklyn Nets this season but apparently contracted it as it spread through the NBA. Boston’s Marcus Smart also tested positive while players from the Los Angeles Lakers were revealed to have positive tests as well.
The ramifications of coronavirus in the NBA also impacted scouts and has seen an impact on the National Hockey League, where players on the Ottawa Senators tested positive following games played in the same venues as infected NBA players.