Mets relieved by Donovan Mitchell Sr.'s negative coronavirus test

NEW YORK -- Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell's father, who works for the New York Mets, tested negative for the coronavirus.

Donovan Mitchell Sr. is the Mets' director of player relations and community outreach. The younger Mitchell confirmed Thursday that he tested positive for the coronavirus. On Wednesday, Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert became the first NBA player to test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, and Gobert's result prompted the league to suspend the season.

The elder Mitchell was tested Thursday, and a negative result was received Friday night, the Mets said in a statement.

"We all were very pleased and happy for Donovan and his family," general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said Saturday on a conference call with reporters from the team's spring training home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. "And I know there was a sigh of relief to a degree of our players and staff here."

Van Wagenen said no other members of the staff in Port St. Lucie or baseball operations had been tested.

With spring training adjourned all around the majors due to the COVID-19 crisis, the club met Saturday morning with players who were still in Port St. Lucie and encouraged them to focus not on baseball right now but on their own health, safety and families.

"Obviously, we had a unique situation in that we were awaiting Donovan Mitchell's test results, so we shared that information and we shared with them other appropriate information as it relates to their health and safety," Van Wagenen said. "Players had a number of questions with our staff as well as our performance and medical staff, and players are making a variety of different choices. Some are choosing to travel. Others are still deciding while they're contemplating the variables with their family and with their friends, and others have made the decision to at least stand by here and stay at least for the near term."

After learning of the Jazz's situation Wednesday, the Mets advised Mitchell Sr. to not report to the team facility in Florida on Thursday. After finding out Thursday that his son had tested positive, the Mets' medical staff recommended that Mitchell Sr. be tested as a precaution.

While the Mets were able to breathe a sigh of relief about Mitchell Sr.'s status, that doesn't mean the focus returned to baseball.

"The plan for each player will vary. What I can say is that we are not having extended simulation games or live BP sessions where pitchers are throwing to hitters today, and as information comes in we will start to schedule the agenda for the days that are coming," Van Wagenen said. "We're operating right now that this is bigger than baseball. This is not about preparing for competition today as much as it is making sure that players are considering their own circumstances."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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