The Minnesota Vikings announced on Monday that head athletic trainer and vice president of sports medicine Eric Sugarman along with members of his family have tested positive for COVID-19. The club says that Sugarman immediately shared his results with them and "the organization and began to follow the previously established comprehensive protocol created by the NFL and national and local health experts." Sugarman is also serving as the Vikings Infection Control Officer amid the pandemic.
The Vikings say that Sugarman and his family are currently in self-quarantine. The team also added in a statement that he "has not had recent contact with players."
"We have followed the team's protocol for sanitizing the facility and for notifying any personnel who may have been in close contact with Eric," the team said in a statement. "Those individuals have been tested and are returning under the established guidelines. Eric has not had recent contact with players, and no additional cases within the Vikings front office have been identified at this time.
"Eric will continue to fulfill his role as the team's ICO virtually as much as possible, and his athletic training staff and other Vikings personnel will assist where necessary. We wish Eric and his family a quick and full recovery and look forward to him returning to the Vikings when appropriate.
"The health and safety of every member of our organization, our fans and of the broader community is paramount. We encourage everyone to take this virus seriously and to practice the established precautions."
Sugarman also released a statement alongside the club's and said that he and his family "are all doing fine and experiencing only mild symptoms."
"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," he said. "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.
"At this time I am taking care of myself and my family and am focused on their health and recovery. I will return to the Vikings and my role after following the proper protocols."
Sugarman just completed his 23rd season in the NFL last year and 14th with the Vikings. Back in 2017, Sugarman and his staff were honored as the NFL's Athletic Training Staff of the Year.