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Gilbert Burns Believes Lack of Masks in Florida Led to Positive COVID Test

Gilbert Burns is out of UFC 251 after testing positive for COVID-19, and he thinks a lack of mask wearing by people is likely how he contracted the virus.

Gilbert Burns has been punted from the biggest fight of his career to date as a result of COVID-19, and ‘Durinho’ believes that a lack of mask-wearing in Florida, is why he contracted the virus.

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Burns says people aren’t wearing masks in Florida

The welterweight contender was booked to fight welterweight champ, Kamaru Usman at UFC 251, until recently it was confirmed he’s tested positive for COVID-19. Burns resides and trains out of Florida, wherein recent weeks, COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed. 

Since he was pulled from the card, Burns spoke with ESPN. When asked about how he thinks he may have contracted the virus, the Brazilian fighter said this (quotes via MMA Junkie).

“The thing is that Florida opened up, that was the thing,” Burns said. “In Florida, people are not wearing masks, people are everywhere walking.

So I think that’s how we got it. I think the first person that got it was Kenny, a Brazilian coach. After that we got Aung La Nsang – ONE championship champion.

And then, a couple of heavyweights, and then it was me. And another guy just texted me; he’s out of an LFA fight because he tested positive, too.

“I just think it’s a Florida thing. We’re not safe anywhere. We have to stay home. I believe the training is going to close … we have to close the gym a second time, wait, and get everyone tested, and then open again.

I think it’s not a gym thing, I think it’s a Florida thing, because here it’s all over. The numbers are getting up, and we end up getting caught.”

It’s difficult to quantitatively verify how many people in Florida are refusing to wear masks of course. But, many medical experts say that mask-wearing is an extremely, effective means to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Burns recounts learning of testing positive for the virus

And while recalling how he learned that he had tested positive for COVID-19, Burns reported this.

“The next day I woke up to a call from Hunter Campbell from the UFC. He’s the one that gave me the news, ‘Hey, you tested positive. We’re going to run another test and after the second results we’ll go from there.’ Then I was waiting, and Khabib’s dad passed away, so we were caught up in the situation while we waited for results….

“Then later the second test came and confirmed I had test positive, and at the same time coach Jones gets his results and test positive, too. So me, Vagner Rocha and coach Jones tested positive. My brother, who was in the middle of us (on the plane to Vegas), tested negative.”

The good news is that so far, Burns is reportedly doing well as his family. As this is being written, according to the CDC, over 2,900,000 people have contracted the coronavirus in the U.S. and over 130,000 people have died. 

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