Gayle Benson tests positive for coronavirus, Saints owner

New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson, 73, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
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New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson, 73, has tested positive for the coronavirus. Saints’ Senior Vice President of communications, Greg Bensel confirmed.

Benson tested positive for COVID-19 within the last couple of weeks, Bensel said.   She has not been hospitalized since her diagnosis and has been taking part in the daily NFL and NBA executive calls.

Mrs. Benson expressed gratitude for everyone's thoughts and prayers on the New Orleans Saints' Twitter account. While her full health status is unknown, she was not hospitalized and is recovering at home.  

Nov 10, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints owner Gayle Benson waves to fans prior to kickoff against the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle

Nov 10, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints owner Gayle Benson waves to fans prior to kickoff against the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle

In March, Saints’ Head Coach Sean Payton became the first member of the NFL community to test positive for COVID-19. Coach Payton did several interviews discussing his symptoms and how he recovered through medical treatment, rest, and quarantining.

While Payton was the first positive in the NFL, Mrs. Benson is not the first NFL or NBA owner to test positive for COVID-19. Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill was hospitalized last month, but recovered from coronavirus.  New York Knicks owner James Dolan recovered from the virus in the spring and donated plasma.

The Saints kick off their season in the Mercedes Benz Superdome on Sept. 13 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Fans are prohibited from attending the opener to mitigate the further spread of the deadly virus.