Chris Sligh, a singer and finalist on American Idol, has become the latest former contestant on the show to be diagnosed with COVID-19. Following his diagnosis, he's since developed pneumonia, which has led to him posting a series of updates for fans on social media, including trips in and out of the hospital.
"I have COVID that has developed into pneumonia," Sligh wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday. "Breathing without pain or coughing is difficult [and] I didn't get much sleep last night, but hopefully the antibiotics do their work and fast." This post followed one he'd made on Monday, which was a selfie of him laying in a hospital bed. "My world right now," he wrote in the caption. "COVID suuuuucks."
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Sligh also posted a message to friends on Facebook on Tuesday, which explained that he began having symptoms 11 days prior. He also indicated that he had begun to feel better toward the end of last week and even though he was on the mend before he admitted to spending most of the weekend dealing with "one giant coughing spasm." It was the same post where he revealed he'd been diagnosed with pneumonia in both of his lungs.
"It can't hurt to open it up to prayer warriors, and even well-wishers (if you don't pray, that's okay)," he wrote. Sligh's wife and two children have also diagnosed positive for COVID-19, though their symptoms are reportedly not as severe as his. The singer finished tenth on the 2007 season of the singing competition series, and has since found success in Christian contemporary music.
Sligh's diagnosis comes as a number of states are reporting an alarming spike in cases, which has prompted some to rethink their reopening plans. In some cases, like Texas, the government has fully reversed course and is once again ordering non-essential businesses to shut down in an effort to, once again, slow the spread.
Despite the circumstances, the Trump administration has continued to roll out its plan to reopen schools starting as early as August. "It's important to consider schools as high-priority settings within the community given the unique and critical role they play in our society," one senior administration official told reporters on Tuesday. "The local context and needs of all school districts are unique, and as such, plans for returning to school should be tailored in a way that minimizes the risk of COVID-19 spread while providing students with the critical services, academic resources, and social-emotional supports that they need."