Sean Payton felt chills — and not the good kind.
Paired with a low-grade fever and body aches, the New Orleans Saints skipper likened his symptoms to influenza. Instead, on March 19, he became the first known person within NFL circles to test positive for the coronavirus.
Payton, 56, acknowledges he was one of the lucky ones. He never felt any of the respiratory symptoms that are commonly associated with COVID-19, and he didn’t require hospitalization.
When Payton received his results, there had been only 392 documented cases of COVID-19 in the state of Louisiana, and 249 in Orleans Parish. Less than six months later, the numbers painted a different picture altogether. As of Sept. 12, nearly 160,000 Louisianans have tested positive — including Saints owner Gayle Benson.
Benson didn’t need to be hospitalized with her bout in August either, but the 73-year-old did receive daily medical care for her