Alabama football coach Nick Saban tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, and he is self-isolating at home while continuing to oversee his team’s practices via Zoom.
Athletic director Greg Byrne also tested positive on Wednesday.
“I found out earlier this afternoon that I had tested positive for COVID-19,” Saban said in a statement. “I immediately left work and isolated at home. At this time, I do not have any symptoms relative to COVID, and I have taken another PCR test to confirm my diagnosis.”
The second-ranked Crimson Tide play host to No. 3 Georgia on Saturday.
Saban, who is working from his home, was upbeat as he addressed reporters on a Zoom call Wednesday night, joking that “something must be bad wrong — as much as I look forward to these Wednesday press conferences — for me not to be there with you today.”
The 68-year-old Saban said he was feeling fine before the positive test result, which he said surprised him.
“I feel fine, so I’m not really concerned that much about my health, but you never know,” Saban said. “Look, I basically feel like when we’re in our own personal bubble here, everybody is in a much safer place. I think as soon as you travel, you get exposed to a lot more things and a lot more people.”
Saban said he informed his players of his positive test in a Zoom call at 2 p.m. Wednesday. He said his message to players has been to assume that anyone they come into contact with might be infected and to be cautious.
Alabama plans to test everybody within the football program Thursday. The program began daily testing for its players in September.
Saban said he was able to monitor practice Wednesday via Zoom and could talk on the phone with a staff member if he saw anything that needed correction.
“I had the manager have a phone,” he said. “If I wanted a play repeated, I said, ‘Repeat that play. So-and-so messed up.’ I didn’t leave the country or anything. I’m just right down the street. And we have this technology, so it’s really unique.”
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