Jimmie Johnson uncertain how he got COVID-19
INDIANAPOLIS — Jimmie Johnson says he doesn’t know how he and wife Chandra tested positive for COVID-19 after being careful in interactions with others and wearing a mask, but that is just among the many questions he has.
Johnson revealed Friday that he had tested positive after his wife had tested positive. Both of their children tested negative.
The seven-time Cup champion will miss Sunday’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (4 p.m. ET on NBC and the NBC Sports App). It will be the first time in his career he will have missed a scheduled Cup start. Justin Allgaier will drive the No. 48 for Johnson.
When Johnson returns is uncertain. He must have two negative tests more than 24 hours apart and have a doctor’s release.
Johnson, who is in Aspen, Colorado, talked with the media Saturday morning. Here are details of the conversation:
WHAT WAS THE TIMELINE FOR JIMMIE JOHNSON AND WIFE CHANDRA ON TESTING POSITIVE?
His wife had some allergy-like symptoms earlier in the week and Johnson said that “being the rule follower and the ever-cautious individual she is, she felt she needed to go to the local hospital here in Colorado and have a test done just to be responsible and do her part and then we waited on her test results, which took a couple of days and those came in (Friday) morning at 9 o’clock (Mountain Time). From that point on, we were just dealing with the issues at hand and trying to understand if I was positive. I was lucky to get in and be tested and get a quick result for myself and my children.”
Johnson said that his wife tested positive on Wednesday (July 1)
WHAT IS THE FAMILY’S STATUS?
Johnson and his wife have tested positive for COVID-19.
Both their children have tested NEGATIVE.
WHAT SYMPTOMS DOES JOHNSON HAVE?
He is asymptotic … They don’t know how many days he was positive before the test.
HOW DID HE GET THE VIRUS?
Johnson: “I have more questions, honestly, than I do answers at this point. I don’t think you can be careful enough. Clearly we weren’t. With our best intent we ended up positive somehow. We’re unclear how we ended up positive.”
WHAT’S NEXT FOR JOHNSON AND WHEN MIGHT HE RETURN TO RACING?
Jeff Andrews, vice president of competition at Hendrick Motorsports said this is what Johnson needs to have done before returning to the track:
— Two negative tests with a minimum of 24 hours between those tests followed by a doctor’s release.
JOHNSON SAID HE PREVIOUSLY DID AN ANTIBODY TEST AND TESTED POSITIVE.
Johnson: “Earlier this year, early into lockdown when I found out there was a semi-reliable antibody test, I did take that. I did test positive for the antibodies. There was a big gap in the rate of being positive … success rate or whatever it might be. … (he was positive and his wife was not)
“We didn’t know how much to trust the antibody test. … I was warned by my physician then although I did test positive for antibodies, there was a 20% chance rate of being incorrect.”
HOW IS JOHNSON DOING EMOTIONALLY?
Johnson: “Thankfully, I am asymptomatic. We don’t know how many days in that I am right now so there is some concern that my conditions could worsen. I literally have had zero symptoms. … I feel great.
“I think our biggest concern right now is for our children. They are negative as of (Friday) . We are being very responsible in our home to self-isolate but at the same time, we have to parent. That’s really the tricky hurdle we’re trying to sort out right now on top of managing their fears. … For a 9- and a6-year old, trying to manage the fear right now, they can’t come around mom and dad. We’ve got to feed them. We’re concerned feeding them and passing them the virus. … On the homefront with our kids, we’re heartbroken right now to see the fear in their eyes and watching them try to manage what is going on right now.”
JOHNSON’S RECENT TRAVELS (other than Cup races)
— Has been in Aspen, Colorado the last few weeks.
— Said they went back to Charlotte about 8-10 days ago
— Was in Indianapolis on July 2 at Dallara to drive their simulator to prepare for July 8 IndyCar test.
— Was preparing to head to Indy on Sunday morning
— He has been at Chip Ganassi Racing for a seat fitting for IndyCar test within the past 14 days.
— Crew chief Cliff Daniels said that Justin Allgaier had been set as the team’s backup driver since the season resumed in May.
WHAT ABOUT JOHNSON’S HOPES TO TEST AN INDYCAR?
Johnson: “That IndyCar test will be there. Hopefully I’m cleared soon and can get back to the track. To get in the 48 car is my first priority of course. … As long as I’m healthy and the world stays open, I really believe there will be that (IndyCar) opportunity. IndyCar has a high priority to help with driver development. So with the interest I have from teams and the relationships and friendships I have in various teams, I do feel that opportunity will be there later in the year.”