Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill tested positive for COVID-19 and was released from a hospital in Rhode Island on Sunday after the team announced the diagnosis on Friday afternoon.
Bidwill developed symptoms over the past few weeks, per the announcement, before they subsided. He released a statement Sunday.
Statement from Cardinals Owner Michael Bidwill: pic.twitter.com/G6c3kbdzLh— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) July 12, 2020
“This week I learned first-hand just how serious COVID-19 is,” Bidwill said in a statement released by the team. “My immense appreciation for all those on the front lines of this pandemic has only increased and I am particularly grateful to the tremendous nurses and doctors at Newport (R.I.) Hospital. I am also overwhelmed by the outpouring of kindness from the Red Sea as well as so many friends and colleagues in Arizona and throughout the country. I'm very fortunate to have this experience behind me and strongly encourage everyone to continue practicing the important measures to avoid it themselves.”
The 55-year-old has been working remotely since the team’s facility was shut down in March, the team said, and has not been in contact with any coaches, players or football staff. They believe he contracted the coronavirus while traveling on the East Coast over the past few weeks.
Bidwill has served as the team’s president since 2007. His father Bill, the team’s previous owner, died in October.
There were more than 3.1 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States as of Friday afternoon, according to The New York Times, and more than 133,000 deaths attributed to it. The country set a single-day record on Thursday, recording more than 59,800 new cases.
Cases have spiked in Arizona in recent weeks, too. The state has nearly 117,000 confirmed cases, and has averaged more than 3,600 new infections a day over the past week.
NFL training camps are scheduled to kick off July 28, and the league is still planning to move forward with its season amid the pandemic. The NFL still has plenty of details to work out before that can happen and is reportedly working on an opt-out clause with the players union for players who do not want to participate.
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