A player on the Seattle Dragons XFL team tested positive for the coronavirus late Friday afternoon, a spokesperson for the league confirmed—another reminder of the importance of sports leagues suspending operations amid the global pandemic.
The player, who has not been identified, was asymptomatic when he participated in the Dragons’ March 7 game against the Roughnecks in Houston, per the spokesperson. Three days later, on Tuesday, he self-reported symptoms to the team’s medical staff and has been quarantined since then. He was tested for the coronavirus “as early as possible,” the XFL spokesperson said, and received results Friday. The Dragons player is the third professional athlete in the U.S.—along with Utah Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell—who is known to have tested positive for the virus causing COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory illness.
The XFL decided Thursday, presumably after the player was tested but before he received the positive results, to cut short the inaugural season of the spring professional football league, due to the spread of the coronavirus. The league did not make an announcement about the player’s positive test, though the spokesperson did reply to an e-mail inquiry Saturday afternoon. A reporter from XFL News Hub, a website covering the XFL, first reported the news early Saturday morning.
The XFL is alerting players, staff, vendors and partners with the Dragons, Roughnecks and the St. Louis BattleHawks. The player also competed in the Dragons’ Feb. 29 game in St. Louis. Asked if any other players or staff have been tested for the coronavirus, the league spokesperson said only that “the XFL is monitoring the situation closely and taking every measure necessary in accordance with recommendations set forth by the CDC.” The XFL has been working with health-care partners at the University of Washington.
The first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in the United States was identified in late January in Washington, which has been the state hardest hit by the COVID-19 outbreak. A part-time concessions vendor at CenturyLink Field who worked the Dragons’ Feb. 22 game tested positive earlier this month.
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