New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton Tests Positive for COVID-19

March 19, 2020 Updated: March 19, 2020

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton told news outlets on Thursday that he has tested positive for the CCP virus, also known as the novel coronavirus.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

“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.”

Payton said that he is experiencing no serious side effects. It’s not clear if he doesn’t have any symptoms.

“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,” he said.

Payton is the first known figure associated with the NFL to have tested positive for the virus. A number of NBA players, including superstar Kevin Durant, have contracted the illness, which first emerged in mainland China in 2019.

The United States currently has more than 10,000 cases and more than 150 deaths as of Thursday, according to research from Johns Hopkins University.

Payton, 56, is slated to enter his 14th season as the head coach of the Saints. Payton, who won a Super Bowl, has 131 wins, winning eight playoff games.

The NBA, NHL, MLB, and the UFC have suspended events in light of the CCP virus outbreak.