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 Madison Heights Bishop Foley football coach Brian Barnes tested positive for COVID-19 and has since recovered.

Madison Heights Bishop Foley football coach Brian Barnes tested positive for COVID-19 and has since recovered.

Photo by Rebecca Lama


Bishop Foley football coach discusses his bout with COVID-19

By: C & G Sports Staff | Online Only | Published April 14, 2020

It had been one week since the first positive cases of COVID-19 in the state of Michigan when Brian Barnes knew something wasn’t right.

The night before, he woke with chills and body aches. He took his temperature the following morning to see it read 101 degrees.

“I didn’t want to be paranoid or give my family a sense of panic, so I didn’t say much,” the Madison Heights Bishop Foley football coach said.

Instead, he headed to Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital March 17 and was tested. It would later come back as positive for COVID-19.

“I wasn’t fearful for my life or anything, but the entire situation just kind of hit me,” the 41-year-old said. “It’s been so surreal and so unfortunate.”

Barnes and his family spent the next two-plus weeks quarantined at home in Clawson. His wife and three daughters never showed any symptoms of carrying the virus.

He spent most of his time resting, doing Zoom meetings with fellow coaches and teaching English online for Bishop Foley.

He received a call from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention April 12 telling him he was all clear.

Barnes said he feels fortunate. The worst of his symptoms subsided by April 3, but he still deals with fatigue.

“My heart breaks for anyone that’s been impacted by the virus — lost a loved one or a job or doesn’t get to create all the memories of playing a sport,” Barnes said.

Though the football season is still on schedule this fall, this past winter sports season was cut short and the spring sports season was cancelled entirely.

Barnes said he’s had some contact with his football team, but there are more important things he’d rather have them focus on.

“I didn’t want to add to their anxiety by telling them that they have to be online for a meeting at a certain time or making sure they’re doing certain workouts,” he said. “I want them to focus on themselves, school and their family.”

Barnes has signed up to donate blood plasma in hopes that his antibodies can help someone else recover like he did.

“Everyone has been affected one way or another. We’re all in this together, and I know we’re going to get through this and be better for it,” he said.