New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has tested positive for the new coronavirus, becoming the first person from the National Football League known to have contracted the disease.
Payton said he is feeling tired but resting at home after going into self quarantine.
“I was fortunate to be in the minority, without the serious side effects that some have. I’m lucky,” Payton said on Thursday.
Payton said he began feeling unwell on Sunday and got tested the next day. It took three days for the results to come back positive.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said it comes as no shock that cases of the disease are turning up in their league.
“Our primary concern is for Sean’s health and well-being,” Goodell said. “He did the right thing by seeking medical attention and we wish him a speedy recovery.
“It shouldn’t come as a surprise as this pandemic continues that members of our NFL family will be directly impacted.”
About 80 percent of those with the disease develop a fever and cough, but Payton said so far he has not shown any signs of those symptoms.
Payton said he hopes younger people would listen to expert advice and stay indoors.
“Younger people feel like they can handle this, but they can be a carrier to someone who can’t handle it,” Payton said. “So we all need to do our part. It’s important for every one of us to do our part.
“This is not just about social distancing. It’s shutting down here for a week to two weeks,” he said. “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.”
Payton did not say where or how he was able to get access to testing.