TESTAMENT singer Chuck Billy has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
The band said he received his test results on Saturday (March 21).
According to TESTAMENT, Billy had "been feeling unwell" since returning home to the San Francisco Bay Area last week following the completion of "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" European tour with EXODUS and DEATH ANGEL.
The 57-year-old Billy, who didn't reveal if he had any idea how he contracted the virus, says he has been quarantined since arriving home.
TESTAMENT's full statement reads as follows:
"As many of you already know, after returning from the 'Bay Strikes Back' over Europe Tour last week, some of us in TESTAMENT have been feeling unwell and have made the decision along with our Doctors to be tested for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. As of yesterday morning, Chuck and [his wife] Tiffany Billy's tests have come back positive as well as some crew members.
"We wanted to reach out to everyone who has been supporting us and expressing concern to inform you that we are doing what's right, and what's safe, and have all been quarantining ourselves since our return home; since before we were even tested. We are of course concerned for our families, our friends, our crew, our fellow musicians, and our fans. We've reached out to support our fellow Bay Area Bands who are also being proactive in their own camps, staying quarantined and safe, and will speak on their individual situations if and when they are ready to.
"At this moment we are currently focused on staying safe and quarantined, resting, getting ourselves back to health, and of course, sending well wishes, prayers, and positive energy towards our friends who are also sick. We also want to send well wishes to all of our fans and supporters in this time of crisis. We're taking all the necessary steps to stay safe at home and we ask our friends and fans to do the same. Please take care of each other, and stay healthy so we can continue to thrash in the not so distant future!"
EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt revealed earlier in the week that he was exhibiting all the symptoms of COVID-19.
Holt said that he and his wife underwent coronavirus testing on Friday (March 20) but added that they will have to wait "seven to 10 days" for results.
DEATH ANGEL drummer Will Carroll has been in an intensive care unit at a Northern California hospital since Wednesday (March 18) after being taken "very ill" following the completion of "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" trek.
TESTAMENT, EXODUS and DEATH ANGEL canceled at least two shows on "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" tour due to the fast-spreading outbreak of the new coronavirus: February 25 in Milan, Italy; and March 11 in Hannover, Germany.
More than 329,000 coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide and more than 15,000 deaths so far, putting public health systems and emergency services under immense pressure.
The fatality rate of the new coronavirus is believed to about 1 percent. "It's about ten times more lethal than the seasonal flu," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes Of Allergy And Infectious Disease, said in congressional testimony on March 11.
U.S. officials have repeatedly urged Americans to heed what federal, state and local officials are asking of them in order to curtail the spread and dampen the impact of the virus on the population.
California recently estimated that more than half of the state — 25.5 million people — will get the new coronavirus over the next eight weeks.
A new CDC report has offered proof that younger adults are just as likely as anyone to contract the virus, with nearly 40 percent of COVID-19 cases found between the ages of 20 and 54.
"I think everyone should be paying attention to this," Stephen Morse, PhD, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, told The New York Times about the study. "It's not just going to be the elderly. There will be people age 20 and up. They do have to be careful, even if they think that they're young and healthy."
The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) put its worst-case scenario at 1.7 million COVID-19 deaths in America.
Back in 2001, Billy was diagnosed with germ cell seminoma, a rare type of cancer that was found in his chest. He spent the next two years receiving treatment, and won. That battle helped bring his former bandmates back together, and TESTAMENT was resurrected, releasing three new albums, including 2016's "Brotherhood Of The Snake".