Magic's Steve Clifford Announces He Tested Positive for COVID-19

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst III

Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford looks on in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Saturday, April 3, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday night and is unlikely to coach Sunday against the Indiana Pacers.

Clifford, who has been vaccinated, said he's asymptomatic and two subsequent tests Friday returned negative results. He took another test Saturday and will have one more Sunday morning. 

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Magic coach Steve Clifford will not coach vs. Pacers tonight and could miss multiple games, source tells ESPN. Clifford will be out until he can pass league's health and safety protocols. Clifford tested positive for the coronavirus, but has been asymptomatic and feeling well.

Should the 59-year-old remain unable to join his team against the Pacers, he said assistant Tyrone Corbin would take over on an interim basis. Corbin was the full-time head coach of the Utah Jazz from 2011-14 and led the Sacramento Kings on an interim basis during the 2014-15 season. The former NBA small forward has a 119-167 coaching record.

Clifford told reporters one of the officials in the team's game Tuesday in Atlanta tested positive as well, placing the Magic in the league's enhanced protocol. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated can still contract the virus. However, the vaccine is likely to decrease the severity of symptoms. 

"Even though a small percentage of fully vaccinated people will get sick, vaccination will protect most people from getting sick," The CDC announced. "There also is some evidence that vaccination may make illness less severe in people who get vaccinated but still get sick. Despite this, some fully vaccinated people will still be hospitalized and die. However, the overall risk of hospitalization and death among fully vaccinated people will be much lower than among people with similar risk factors who are not vaccinated."