Saints’ Coach Sean Payton Tests Positive For Coronavirus
Saints’ head coach Sean Payton has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) becoming the first person in the NFL to be infected. The 56-year-old spoke to ESPN on Thursday confirming his diagnosis. According to reports, Payton did not feel well on Sunday and was subsequently tested on Monday before receiving the results Thursday afternoon.
Payton says he feels fatigued, but is part of the 20% of cases reported that doesn’t have a fever or a cough. He feels confident that he’ll fully recover and plans to quarantine himself throughout the weekend.
— Sean Payton (@SeanPayton) March 19, 2020
Payton says his purpose behind publicly announcing his diagnosis was to influence fellow Americans to follow the government’s recommendations of avoiding crowds and acting in an unselfish way.
“This is not just about social distancing,” Payton told ESPN. “It’s shutting down here for a week to two weeks. If people understand the curve, and understand the bump, we can easily work together as a country to reduce it. Take a minute to understand what the experts are saying. It’s not complicated to do what they’re asking of us. Just that type of small investment by every one of us will have a dramatic impact.
“I was fortunate to be in the minority, without the serious side effects that some have. I’m lucky. Younger people feel like they can handle this, but they can be a carrier to someone who can’t handle it. So we all need to do our part. It’s important for every one of us to do our part.”
Lousiana is one of the most infected states with nearly 500 cases reported and ten deaths, according to WDSU News, a Lousiana news channel.
“The concern with Louisiana is the amount of people that come in and out of this area after Mardi Gras season,” Payton said. “This is an area that doctors are concerned about. So our parents, and those that are more susceptible to this virus, deserve everyone doing their best to combat it.
“There are hundreds of people right now in tough predicaments, fighting for their lives. Let’s be part of the solution, not the problem. We can easily help reduce the numbers of those impacted. We have to do our best to beat this, and I know we can.”
The Saints’ coaching staff hasn’t met since last week and team personnel have been working from home since last Thursday, according to ESPN. “He did the right thing by seeking medical attention, and we wish him a speedy recovery,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “It shouldn’t come as a surprise as this pandemic continues that members of our NFL family will be directly impacted. This news underscores the importance of everyone following the advice from medical and public health experts to protect themselves and others.”