Camera Operator Who Shot Pistons-Jazz Game Has Coronavirus; Friend Starts GoFundMe Page

The GoFundMe page received more than $9,700 in less than 10 hours.

97.1 The Ticket
March 26, 2020 - 6:39 pm
Little Caesars Arena

© Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

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97.1 The Ticket -- A camera operator who shot footage at Little Caesars Arena on March 7 -- the last game in Detroit before the NBA suspended its season -- has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) and is reportedly in a medically induced coma.

The man, whose name has not been released, is in his 50s and shot footage inside the Utah Jazz locker room that night, according to a report from Yahoo Sports. It is not known when or where the camera operator contracted the virus.

Utah's Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell were the first two NBA players to test positive for the virus, just days later. Gobert's positive test was the final straw that led to the Association suspending operations on March 11. Detroit's Christian Wood also tested positive earlier this month, though he has since "fully recovered," and officials have said all other Pistons players have tested negative for the virus.

The camera operator regularly works NBA games at LCA, according to the report. The man reported experiencing symptoms about a week after the game, before going to a metro Detroit hospital on March 18 when his condition didn't improve.

Doctors were having difficulty getting the man's oxygen levels to normalize, according to Yahoo's report.

A friend of the camera operator has set up a GoFundMe page to help with his medical bills. Created Thursday morning, the page was within $300 of the $10,000 goal as of 6:30 p.m.

The creator of the GoFundMe page says any money raised beyond their goal will be donated to area food banks and to FlintKids.org.

A spokesperson for GoFundMe says "we have a dedicated Trust & Safety team reviewing all campaigns related to COVID-19. Our team of Trust & Safety experts work around the clock supporting campaign organizers, beneficiaries and donors to ensure every donation gets to the right place, as quickly as possible. All GoFundMe fundraisers are backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee which ensures that all funds go to the right place."

Officials with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday announced another large spike in numbers, with more than 500 new cases pushing the statewide total to more than 2,800. Officials have reported 60 people in Michigan have died due to the virus.

>>> Coronavirus In Michigan: What You Need To Know On Thursday, March 26