The reality star and former NFL player shared the news on Friday that he tested positive for the coronavirus. In sharing his test results on social media, he encouraged his two million Instagram followers to self quarantine and practice social distancing.
“I tested positive and I have been following all of the social distancing rules since last week,” Underwood posted. “My symptoms started a few days ago, I was tested and just received my results today. For anyone out there that is hesitant to self quarantine…please do yourself and your loved ones a favor and stay home. We will all beat this and come out stronger on the other side. I’ll keep you posted, love y’all.”
Underwood posted a video, giving details on his symptoms and diagnosis, and pushed forward the critical responsibility of young people taking the coronavirus seriously.
“There’s a lot of information going out in the news and the media right now about the coronavirus, saying it’s for the elderly or young people don’t want to do this,” Underwood said. “I want to let you guys know, I’m 28, I consider myself pretty healthy, I work out regularly, I eat healthy, and I became symptomatic a few days ago, got my test results back today and they are positive. And it’s been kicking my ass, just to put it very bluntly.”
Unlike other public figures who tested positive, but say they have not displayed symptoms — like NBA star Kevin Durant and actor Idris Elba — Underwood explained his symptoms in great detail, sharing that he can’t walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath, and cannot stand up to go to the bathroom without needing to sit because he experiences extreme exhaustion.
“The reason I’m sharing this is not to cause fear or panic, but to encourage you guys to stay home,” the reality personality said. “Do your part.”
With a large social media following, Underwood is the latest influencer to encourage his followers to isolate and self quarantine. Yesterday, after the Surgeon General called for social media influencers to spread the word to their millennial fans, Kylie Jenner posted about the severity of the coronavirus to her 166 million followers.
Underwood appeared on Season 14 of “The Bachelorette,” and then became the lead of the 23rd season of “The Bachelor” in 2019, ultimately choosing contestant Cassie Randolph as his partner. The two TV personalities are still together, and in his Instagram video, Underwood said he was self-quarantined at Randolph’s family’s home.
Underwood is the first known star from Bachelor Nation to test positive for COVID-19, but “The Bachelor” franchise has been rocked by the coronavirus crisis.
The new season of “The Bachelorette,” which was slated to premiere in May, was just about to head into production when the pandemic began to spread. One week ago, production on “The Bachelorette” was halted, and sources tell Variety filming had not yet begun. As of today, ABC and Warner Bros. Television have not commented on the status of the upcoming season, which will star franchise alum Clare Crawley, though it appears nearly impossible that the season would be ready to air this spring, given the production shut-down.