According to TESTAMENT singer Chuck Billy (pictured), DEATH ANGEL drummer Will Carroll is on a ventilator in an intensive care unit at a Northern California hospital. Like Billy, the drummer has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Billy and the rest of TESTAMENT recently spent more than a month on the road in Europe with DEATH ANGEL and EXODUS as part of "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" tour.
Last week, EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt said that he was exhibiting all the symptoms of COVID-19. He and his wife ended up getting tested on March 20 but have yet to receive the results.
During a March 26 appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation", Chuck said that several members of "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" touring party experienced symptoms that were consistent with COVID-19.
"Will had to go to the hospital," Chuck said. "He's in ICU on a ventilator right now… I believe he was the first one to test positive [for COVID-19], and then myself and a couple of crew guys. And I know Gary and his wife tested; I think they're still waiting for the results. But a lot of us [experienced] the same feeling — just feeling really tired, body aching, chest tight and short of breath. And we all kind of had the same feeling, so we were just waiting for the first one to get the results to back to realize, if it's the same thing, we probably all might have it. So we're just waiting on Gary's [results] now. The other [TESTAMENT] guys — Alex [Skolnick] and Gene [Hoglan] and Eric [Peterson] — all three of those guys feel just fine; they haven't had any of the symptoms."
Billy went on to say that he and the other infected people on the tour were unable to trace the infection back to an individual or to a situation where they were put at risk.
"We've tried to trace it," he said. "We were asking questions, and they still don't have a lot of the answers for it. They don't know how long the contagious period is. They don't know when you get it and when you become contagious. We were lucky enough that nobody was really feeling ill on the road. I believe it was right when we were leaving [Europe] to come home — it was that last day, I believe, and maybe just the airport exposure; I'm not sure. Eric went a different way, so he didn't get sick. So did Gene — he didn't get sick. And so did Alex — he stayed at another hotel. So the rest of us, maybe when we traveled through the airport, I don't know if we got ill then. Or maybe we contracted it that [last] night — it's just hard to say. You can't really put a finger on it. But we do know that we were feeling fine in Europe. It's just once we got home, within that 24-hour window, among all three bands, we were all talking to each other and people were feeling ill. So I would think maybe the last couple of days of the tour, maybe we all contracted it somewhere."
According to Chuck, "at least a third" of the musicians and road crew traveling on "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" tour were presented with some symptoms of the new coronavirus. "Everybody is getting tested and still feeling [ill]… Nobody's been as sick as, I think, we were, but I would say a third of us, out of all three bands, with the crews and bandmembers, feel sick. Once we get some more results back, I'm sure more people will start talking about it."
On March 18, Will's fiancée Leeshawn Navarro checked in from San Francisco's California Pacific Medical Center to say that she brought him to the emergency room because he had been "very sick" since returning from "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" tour.
DEATH ANGEL has spent the last few months touring in support of its ninth album, "Humanicide", which came out last May via Nuclear Blast.
TESTAMENT's new album, "Titans Of Creation", will be released on April 3 via Nuclear Blast.