EXODUS singer Steve "Zetro" Souza has offered an update on his bandmates and the members of TESTAMENT and DEATH ANGEL, some of whom have become sick since returning from a recent European tour, with some testing positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
EXODUS, TESTAMENT and DEATH ANGEL spent more than a month traveling together on "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" tour and returned home to the San Francisco Bay Area on March 11. Two of the shows on the trek were canceled due to the fast-spreading outbreak of the new coronavirus: February 25 in Milan, Italy; and March 11 in Hannover, Germany.
On Sunday, TESTAMENT singer Chuck Billy announced that he and his wife have tested positive for COVID-19. Several days earlier, EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt revealed that he was exhibiting all the symptoms of the disease. He and his wife underwent coronavirus testing on Friday (March 20) but will have to wait another week for results. DEATH ANGEL drummer Will Carroll has been in an intensive care unit at a Northern California hospital since Wednesday (March 18) after being taken "very ill" following the completion of "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" trek.
Earlier today (Monday, March 23), EXODUS frontman Steve "Zetro" Souza taped a new video for his YouTube channel, Zetro's Toxic Vault, in which he discussed "The Bay Strikes Back" tour and addressed how some of his tourmates may have contracted the new coronavirus.
"You've gotta understand that [we were] meeting fans and [we were] meeting different people and [we were] all using the same facilities and the same catering and [we were] all around each other constantly, so it makes good sense why so many people from the tour caught it," he explained (see video below).
Zetro went on to say that he personally feels "great." "If I have [the disease], I don't have any symptoms of it," he said. "I don't feel bad at all. I am sleeping really well. I feel strong as an ox. I wish the gyms weren't closed; I'd be there every day, unfortunately.
"The only one from our camp who seems to be sick is Gary, who showed signs of it," he continued. "But his test won't come back for quite some time now — seven to 10 days, I believe. Why that is, I don't know. But him and his wife were tested. Now, I spoke to him this morning, and he feels better, although he still has a little bit of the symptoms sometimes, but he says he feels much better on that.
"Obviously, everybody knows, yesterday, Chuck Billy and his wife Tiffany had went on the Internet and told everybody that they have contracted it as well, which means now more people, it looks like. And I believe there's two of their techs in their camp, that worked for them, have contracted it as well.
"I don't even know if Will [has tested] positive. Will Carroll is very sick. He's in the ICU right now. I heard he's doing a lot better, but the news is very vague.
"We're doing all right in the EXODUS camp. Really, Gary's the only one that's sick as far as the techs. And the rest of the band, everybody's doing good. A couple of guys in DEATH ANGEL are not feeling too well but getting better. Chuck and his wife and a couple of their techs not feeling too well, but they're getting better. So just keep your fingers crossed."
More than 378,000 coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide and more than 16,000 deaths so far, putting public health systems and emergency services under immense pressure.
U.S. officials have repeatedly urged Americans to heed what federal, state and local officials are asking of them in order to curtail the spread and dampen the impact of the virus on the population.
California recently estimated that more than half of the state — 25.5 million people — will get the new coronavirus over the next eight weeks.