Eric Sugarman, the Vikings' head athletic trainer and current Infection Control Officer, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement released by the team. Members of Sugarman's family have also tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Neither Sugarman nor his family members are experiencing anything worse than "mild symptoms."
"Eric immediately shared his results with the organization and began to follow the previously established comprehensive protocol created by the NFL and national and local health experts," the team's statement says. "Eric and his family are currently in self-quarantine and providing daily updates on their well-being."
According to the statement, Sugarman has not had recent contact with any players. Rookies began to "report" to training camp on Thursday, but have yet to actually get in the facility because that requires multiple negative COVID-19 tests. The Vikings said that everyone who has been in close contact with Sugarman recently is being tested, and that no additional cases in the front office have been identified at the moment.
"We have followed the team's protocol for sanitizing the facility and for notifying any personnel who may have been in close contact with Eric. Those individuals have been tested and are returning under the established guidelines."
Sugarman will continue to operate virtually as the team's ICO as much as possible. Other Vikings personnel and members of the athletic training staff will have to step up their roles within the facility with the organization's leader in coronavirus safety measures isolating at home.
Sugarman also released a statement on top of the Vikings' announcement.
"I have an immense amount of pride in the effort I have personally put forth to protect the NFL family, the Minnesota Vikings organization and our community with thoughtfulness and decision-making based on the current science over these last four months," he said. "I am humble to be serving in that capacity as it has been some of the most rewarding work of my career. But as I sit here in quarantine, it is clear this virus does not discriminate. It should continue to be taken seriously. I encourage people to take the necessary precautions and follow guidelines that have been established nationally and locally. At this time I am taking care of myself and my family and am focused on their health and recovery. I will return to the Vikings and my role after following the proper protocols."
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