MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Eric Sugarman, the Minnesota Vikings vice president of sports medicine who’s in charge of the organization’s virus prevention plan, has tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced Monday.
In a statement from the Vikings, Sugarman said he and his family members immediately quarantined themselves and began following the NFL’s appropriate protocols after testing positive over the weekend.
Sugarman, who has two teenage sons with his wife, Heather, was appointed infection control officer for the Vikings earlier this year after the coronavirus outbreak necessitated the role.
“At this time we are all doing fine and experiencing only mild symptoms,” Sugarman said. “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. 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.”
The Vikings said they’ve tested all individuals who’d recently been in close contact with Sugarman, who has begun his 15th season as the team’s head athletic trainer and his 24th year in the league.
Sugarman had not had any recent contact with players, the Vikings said, and no additional cases within the team’s facility have been reported to date. Sugarman will handle his duties as infection control officer remotely as much as possible until his return.
“The health and safety of every member of our organization, our fans and of the broader community is paramount,” the Vikings said in their statement. “We encourage everyone to take this virus seriously and to practice the established precautions.”