NBA guard C.J. McCollum took to Twitter to let fans know he will not be signing autographs during the coronavirus outbreak. This comes after cases were reported in Oregon near where some Portland Trail Blazers players live.
According to KATU, an elementary school in Lake Oswego, Oregon, has been shut down due to fears of the coronavirus spreading. An employee at the First Hills Elementary school was the first confirmed person in the state to contract the virus. This announcement comes after six schools were closed in nearby Washington state.
Lake Oswego is home to several players, and with this in mind, McCollum tweeted out a statement over the weekend informing fans that he will try to protect himself by staying away from autograph sessions for the time being. He also retweeted several tweets about proper handwashing techniques and tips on avoiding the virus.
“The Corona Virus [sic] has officially hit Oregon. More specifically Lake Oswego…Make sure y’all washing y’all hands with soap for 20 or more seconds & covering ya mouths when you cough. I am officially taking a break from signing autographs until further notice.”
He followed that up with a tweet saying “fist bumps” are better than “high fives” because this would help everyone stay “germ free.”
His tweet about avoiding autographs received over 58,000 likes and 6,400 retweets, with many of his 387,000 followers replying with support.
“Good decision CJ, you gotta be ready for the playoffs,” one fan wrote.
“CJ new wardrobe gonna change the game,” another quipped, along with an altered photo of the Blazers guard arriving for a game in a hazmat suit.
“No more high fives with fans for you & the team too,” one follower warned.
Others believed the 28-year-old was being overly cautious.
“I guarantee more people have died from the flu virus than this corona virus,” a Twitter user replied.
Another implied McCollum was flattering himself by avoiding autographs.
“Nobody want that autograph my G,” the fan remarked, to which the guard replied with several laughing emojis.
This comes after NPR wrote that four people in Seattle, Washington, had died after contracting the coronavirus. Two of them had been living in a nursing home.
As reported by The Inquisitr, local businesses have been feeling the impact of the virus. A Costco in Tigard, Oregon, was wiped out of tissues, paper towels, and other supplies. Tigard is near Lake Oswego, where two deaths from the virus had been reported along with the school closure.
The NBA has not announced any plans to cancel or reschedule games, but the Chinese Basketball Association — which has many former NBA players — has completely halted activities.