The Alabama football program could be on the verge of a coronavirus outbreak. On Wednesday, the university announced that Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban has tested positive for COVID-19.
Along with Saban, athletic director Greg Byrne has also tested positive for the coronavirus.
Following his diagnosis, Saban directed the program to practice from home.
“Early this afternoon, we received notification that Coach Saban and Greg Byrne tested positive for COVID-19,” Dr. Jimmy Robinson and Jeff Allen said in a statement. “Both immediately left the facility and went to their homes to self-isolate after receiving that information. At this point in time, the positive tests are limited to those two individuals.
“All individuals who are considered high-risk contacts have been notified and will follow quarantine guidelines. We will follow the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force Protocol for testing asymptomatic positives.”
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 7.53 million confirmed cases and 211,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.