ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The novel coronavirus has reached the highest levels of the Denver Broncos organization with general manager John Elway and team president Joe Ellis testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.
The Broncos said in a statement that both Elway and Ellis have minor symptoms but are "doing well' and will continue to work from home and in self-isolation and participate in virtual meetings while their health is monitored.
The team said contract tracing measures show that no players or coaches came into close contact with either Elway or Ellis recently.
“Based on a review of contact tracing data with the league, we are confident these cases originated independently outside team facilities,” the Broncos said. “There were minimal close contacts identified for each (no players or coaches) and those individuals have been notified.”
“While our facilities are closed for Election Day, coaches are conducting their game preparations today remotely as a precaution,” the team added. “Our organization will remain in communication with the NFL, making all decisions in consultation with the league and based on guidance from medical experts.”
The Broncos have had three assistant coaches go under the league's COVID-19 protocols — Curtis Modkins, Mike Munchak and Ed Donatell — in addition to right guard Graham Glasgow. Others at the team's headquarters also have been infected by COVID-19 in recent weeks.
The Broncos have been under the league’s enhanced COVID-19 protocols since Modkins’ infection. Those extra measures include increased distancing, face coverings on the practice field and inside the team’s facilities for players and coaches and remote team meetings. Position groups can still meet in person.
With those extra mitigation measures and only one Broncos player on the league's reserve/COVID-19 list, the league believes “there is not ongoing transmission among players and the day-to-day operations” in Denver, NFL chiefs medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said Tuesday. “But it’s something that we’re going to have to continue to monitor very carefully."