Basketball: Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum not signing autographs due to coronavirus outbreak

In a photo taken on Jan 3, 2020, CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers dribbles the ball against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena, in Washington, DC. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum no longer will sign autographs for fans amid fears over the coronavirus.

He announced his decision in a tweet on Saturday.

"The Corona Virus has officially hit Oregon," the 28-year-old American wrote. "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."

State officials on Friday night announced the first presumptive coronavirus case in the state.

And on Saturday, officials in Washington state said a man in his 50s had died, marking the first coronavirus fatality in the United States.

Sporting events in Asia and Europe recently have been cancelled, postponed or played in empty stadiums or arenas because of the outbreak, which has killed nearly 3,000 people worldwide, most of them in mainland China, CNN reported Sunday.

More than 85,000 people around the world are infected, with the virus now reaching on every continent except Antarctica.

The National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) all said they are monitoring developments and consulting with health officials.

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