A "little bit of a mental lapse" in following the NFL's COVID-19 protocol has resulted in Kansas City Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes and his pregnant fiancée, Brittany Matthews, sleeping in separate bedrooms as a precautionary measure.
Following the Chiefs' win over the New England Patriots on Monday night, Mahomes approached Patriots star defensive back Stephon Gilmore to show sportsmanship after the game. Gilmore later tested positive for COVID-19.
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"Obviously knowing that I went up to him after the game and just gave him a high five like I've done my whole career and not thinking about it was a little bit of a mental lapse," Mahomes said at a press conference Wednesday.
"Obviously had a little lapse at the end of the game, just trying to show respect to a great football player who I hope is getting better very quickly," he later added. "I'll just try to keep away from that and try not to do it again."
The interaction with Gilmore also came after the Chiefs' practice squad quarterback, Jordan Ta'amu, tested positive last week. Mahomes said he stayed 6 feet apart from Ta'amu, but it was a concern with Matthews pregnant with their first child.
"It's something that I think about every day," he said. "You have to think about that with her being pregnant and kind of at a high-risk category so I just try to do my best, especially after finding out Jordan was positive obviously.
"When I went home over the weekend, I slept in a different bedroom and stayed away from her as much as possible, and so I've gotten these negative tests back, and so I just try to do my part to kind of keep myself away from her and social distance whenever stuff like this arises," he said. "But the only thing about being here every single day is I get tested every single day, so it's good at keeping track of where I'm at."
Research released in June by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention comparing pregnant and non-pregnant women with COVID-19 found that infected pregnant women do not have a greater risk of death but may be more likely to be hospitalized.
"These findings suggest that among women of reproductive age with COVID-19, pregnant women are more likely to be hospitalized and at increased risk for ICU admission and receipt of mechanical ventilation compared with non-pregnant women, but their risk for death is similar," the report stated.
Gilmore, who is the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, wrote in a statement on Twitter Wednesday that he is currently asymptomatic. He added that he followed every protocol and still tested positive so people need to "be sure to take this seriously."
Mahomes said he hopes to make the interaction with Gilmore "an isolated incident."
"Like I said obviously with Brittany being pregnant I try to do whatever I can to social distance and stay away to be available to the team, but even more part for me just kind of stay and keep my family safe," he said.