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Saints coach Sean Payton tests positive for coronavirus, report says

Sporting News logo Sporting News 3/19/2020 Tadd Haislop

Video by NFL

Sean Payton hasĀ tested positive for the coronavirus, according to ESPN, making the Saints coach the first person in the NFL known to have contracted the virus.

How and when Payton became infected with COVID-19 is unclear.

According to the report, Payton took a test Monday and received his results Thursday after not feeling well Sunday. He does not have a fever or a cough but is experiencing fatigue. He will be quarantined at home through the weekend. The report notes Payton is "upbeat and optimistic about a full recovery."

Payton, 56, has served as New Orleans' coach since 2006.

"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.

"The concern with Louisiana is the amount of people that come in and out of this area after Mardi Gras season. 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."

Related slideshow: The Impact of Coronavirus on Sports (provided by imagn)

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