ESPN NBA Analyst Doris Burke Reveals Coronavirus Diagnosis

Jordan Cohn
March 27, 2020 - 3:35 pm

One of basketball’s most popular media figures, Doris Burke, officially tested positive for coronavirus. However, she decided to keep quiet about it at the time and is now doing well after what she called a “rough” couple of weeks.

Burke, who has been working within NBA media for years and called games as an analyst on ESPN throughout the 2019-20 season, shared her story dealing with coronavirus on the Woj Pod on Friday afternoon.

She started experiencing symptoms on March 11, though she details that they weren’t the usual signs shared by the CDC for most COVID-19 patients. March 11 was the same day that Rudy Gobert officially tested positive and put the NBA and entire sports world on hold.

Sitting at lunch with her broadcast team that day, Burke shared that she “looked at [her] colleagues and producers and said ‘I am so tired right now and my head is pounding’.”

Mentioning that she had heard so much about the typical symptoms, like shortness of breath, fever and chest tightness, she realized that the fatigue and headaches were definitely her primary symptoms.

“I took naps that day, and I felt better,” Burke said. “I went about the normal business of trying to prep for the game.

“Thursday morning, en route to the airport, I had another headache. I had been so tired on that Wednesday that I looked at Ryan Ruocco and said ‘you know, I think I should fly back… to Los Angeles and rest for a couple of days’.”

Her original itinerary had her flying out east before returning to Los Angeles for a Lakers game on Sunday and a Clippers game on Monday.

“By the time Saturday the 14th hit, I was so tired that if I tried to get out of bed… I kid you not, I could not be out of bed for five minutes before needing to go back to bed and lay down,” Burke said. “I was thinking… I don’t have any of the normal symptoms but I thought to myself it seems to me I should probably get tested.”

With the concern and support of her family, Burke went on to get tested. Calling the medical staff at a city hospital in Philadelphia “professional” and “efficient”, Burke was tested for the flu, coronavirus and received additional precautionary tests like an EKG and an x-ray. She had a mild fever, but it never exceed 100 degrees.

Instead of taking the normal three to five days to receive results, it took eight days for Burke to get her results back, as she received her positive test on Wednesday the 25th. By that point, she had been feeling much better and had spent two weeks in her own bedroom while her daughter cooked the meals and brought her food.

“I just am incredibly thankful to the professionals at this hospital,” Burke said. “I’m so incredibly thankful to be feeling well to be honest with you. We’re going to continue to social distance.

“I am out of my room -- thank god. It’s nice to be in shared common space even if I’m six feet away from both people in my home.”

There has been a recent wave of formerly diagnosed athletes and sports figures getting cleared by doctors, including the Jazz’s Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell and Saints head coach Sean Payton. While this trend is hopefully one that continues, the consistent development of new cases is still a major cause of concern throughout the world that goes way beyond just sports.

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