NBA Broadcaster Doris Burke Details COVID-19 Diagnosis

Doris Burke, ESPN

Getty Doris Burke, ESPN

Beloved ESPN broadcaster Doris Burke has tested positive for COVID-19, she announced today on Adrian Wojnarowski’s podcast. She said she is feeling good despite the illness, she told Wojnarowski in the show’s opening.

“Well, Adrian,” she said. “I’m feeling well now, to be honest with you. I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks.”

Burke said she first began to notice symptoms of COVID-19 on March 11 as she was preparing to broadcast the game between the Nuggets and Mavericks in Dallas.

“I did test positive for COVID-19,” she explained. “My first symptom, looking back on it, Adrian, was March 11, which was the day I was broadcasting Denver at Dallas which was obviously the moment when Rudy Gobert tested positive, which set off the ensuing series of events.”

It was during a production meeting at lunch that she began to notice something was not right.

“I looked at (my colleagues) and I said, ‘I am so tired right now and my head is pounding,’” Burke said. “And looking back, those were my symptoms. We’ve heard so much about shortness of breath, fever, tightness in your chest, chills, bodyaches, etc. For me, March 11 was really, looking back, that really was my primary symptom throughout this was this extraordinary fatigue.”


Doris Burke Got COVID-19 Test on March 17

Burke said that in the days after her first symptoms, she became increasingly exhausted. She was supposed to work two games around the following weekend but found that it would have been impossible.

“By the time Saturday the 14th hit,” she said, “I was so tired that if I tried to get out of bed from Saturday the 14th through Tuesday March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, I kid you not, I could not be about of bed more than five minutes before needing to go back to bed and lay down.”

Burke said that she was reluctant to get tested because she was more aware of other symptoms–especially the sharp fever–associated with COVID-19. She was afraid she would be wasting a test, which she knows are limited across the country.

“You’re aware of the shortage of tests and you have that moral dilemma as a person,” Burke said. “And you’re thinking, ‘Oh my gosh.’ At the time, if you are symptomatic, perhaps you should get tested as opposed to people who have a mild (case).”

But on March 17, family members persuaded her to go in for a test, which she did at a local Philadelphia hospital. The results took eight days to come back. Burke found out on Wednesday she was positive.


Doris Burke Back to Health

As bad as her symptoms got, Burke said, she was able to remain home and recuperate. She is back to feeling healthy and has been able to rejoin her family, though she remains vigilant about keeping social distance, doing copious amounts of laundry and other cleaning.

“I cannot begin to express to you the feeling of gratitude I have for health,” Burke said, “and the concern I have for—I just want people to know it’s important to socially distance and to continue to function with all good practices of hand-washing, wiping down surfaces, whatever your trusted medical professionals are telling you, please, please follow those.”

Burke is always friendly and well-received when she travels to different arenas around the NBA. She lamented the fact that in the wake of this pandemic, that might change going forward.

“I always am so incredibly appreciative of people who when they tune in, enjoy the commentary,” Burke said. “You think on a broader scale, I never turn down a picture or a handshake. I think obviously moving forward, I don’t know how that works.”

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