NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton learned Thursday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus, he told ESPN.

Payton is the first employee of either an NFL team or the league to make such a diagnosis public. He told the network that he came forward to motivate people to educate themselves about what they can do to help fight the pandemic.

The 56-year-old coach said he has been resting comfortably at home in self-quarantine.

“I was fortunate to be in the minority, without the serious side effects that some have. I’m lucky,” Payton told ESPN. “Younger people feel like they can handle this, but they can be a carrier to someone who can’t handle it. So we all need to do our part. It’s important for every one of us to do our part.”

MLB gives minor leaguers allowances

Major League Baseball announced that minor league players shut out of spring training camps will receive allowances from teams through April 8, and a plan is underway to compensate those players during the postponed portion of the regular season.

Minor leaguers will receive their allowances — usually $100-400 per week — from teams in a lump sum. The payments will cover allowances due starting Thursday through the previously scheduled end of spring training.

PGA Tour sees first positive test

The first player under the PGA Tour umbrella has tested positive for the new coronavirus after returning home to South Africa from playing a developmental tour event in Mexico.

The PGA Tour says Victor Lange made his only PGA Tour Latinoamerica start in the Estrella Del Mar Open in Mazatlan, Mexico.

The tour said in statement the 26-year-old Lange received the diagnosis Tuesday night. The tour said he has no symptoms and is expected to make a full recovery while under quarantine and medical supervision at his home in Johannesburg.

NBA: The number of known coronavirus cases within the NBA doubled to 14, when Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics pleaded with people to take social distancing more seriously and the league ordered all teams to shutter their training facilities indefinitely.

Smart revealed that he tested positive and the Los Angeles Lakers said two of their players tested positive as well, bringing the number of players who have acquired the virus to 10. The Philadelphia 76ers said three members of their organization tested positive and the Denver Nuggets said someone within their franchise was positive as well.

Earlier Thursday, the NBA sent a memo to teams telling them to close their training and practice facilities to all players and staff — plus recommending that players “take aggressive measures to avoid contact with others and remain home as much as possible, leaving only for essential activities.”

Formula 1: The iconic Monaco Grand Prix was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak and two other Formula One races were postponed.

The Dutch GP was set to return to its re-vamped Zandvoort track outside Amsterdam to host an F1 race on May 3, for the first time since the late Niki Lauda won there in 1985. Spain was set to follow on May 10.

Because of the latest postponements, the F1 season cannot get underway until June 7 at the Azerbaijan GP.

Three college teams in self-isolation: Men’s basketball players, coaches and staff at Siena College, Illinois-Chicago and Wright State are self-isolating as a precaution after two officials who called the school’s games tested positive for the coronavirus.

The two officials were not identified.

Soccer: Major League Soccer announced that it will suspend its season another four weeks, to May 10, a delay that figures to push the MLS Cup into December.

In a one-paragraph statement MLS, which a week ago announced a 30-day halt to the season, said the break was being lengthened “in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance to postpone events involving more than 50 people over the next eight weeks.”

English soccer authorities reached an unprecedented agreement to extend the season “indefinitely” in an effort to complete all competitions disrupted by the virus outbreak.

As well as announcing that the professional game in England will remain suspended until at least April 30, the Football Association and the Premier League said it was waiving a regulation which dictates that the domestic season has to finish by June 1.

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