Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson 'Hoping for the Best' After Coronavirus Diagnosis

Ray Benson Asleep at the Wheel
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Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel performs onstage during the 44th Annual Willie Nelson 4th of July Picnic at Austin360 Amphitheater on July 4, 2017 in Austin, Texas.

UPDATE: A day following Ray Benson's announcement that he tested positive for COVID-19, the Asleep at the Wheel frontman advises those to take the virus seriously. He says 12 days ago he became bedridden with headaches, extreme fatigue and dizziness. After making an appointment with his doctor March 21 he got tested for everything except COVID-19 as the office didn't have any tests. 

"I just went back home and hunkered down to see if it went away. Unfortunately, the same symptoms kept occurring/progressing. Being extremely fatigued, just falling asleep all the time, headaches were getting worse," he said in a statement provided by his team. "Went back to Dr on Monday the 30th to do some bloodwork and other tests to try and figure out what was going on. After not finding anything through those, I was finally given a COVID-19 test and was sent home and said they’d call me with the results. So I got a call Tuesday morning saying I tested positive!

"Luckily for me nothing has progressed any farther and feel very lucky and optimistic about my current situation. I am still very fatigued/dizzy and in bed for now. DR says if nothing further comes up like elevated temperature, respiratory, cough etc.. I should be in the clear in the coming weeks ... I am and was very frustrated with the lack of testing available. It took basically testing for everything else to acquire a COVID-19 test ... please take this virus seriously! It’s for real. Please follow the safety guidelines out there, if you think or subscribe to those folks who’s opinion is that this virus isn’t that big of a deal, please consider otherwise. Please use your voice to demand getting testing out to everyone NOW! ... STAY OUT OF THE PUBLIC, hunker down and I look forward to getting out on the road and playing music with my band and seeing everyone ASAP!

Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson has tested positive for COVID-19. The leader of the Texas-based band alerted fans via Facebook on Tuesday morning (March 31) of his diagnosis but says he remains optimistic.

“Well folks, the bad news I've contracted the corona virus!!” he says. “Been feeling tired for about 10 days! Went to be tested on the 21st! No tests so went home! Went back yesterday feelin the same tired out of it and they tested ... first call this mornin from lab sayin you got it!!

“Hoping for the best don't have the usual symptoms but feel tired head ache no fever no cough!! I'll be ok sure do miss playin music and seein everyone!”

He went on to stress to fans that the coronavirus is “serious.” While Benson says he’s been alone for most of the time he’s had it and wore a mask and washed hands frequently, he still contracted the coronavirus.

Benson is one of several country artists who have contracted the coronavirus. John Prine’s family revealed he had symptoms and had been in the hospital several days as of Sunday; his wife let fans know Monday afternoon that Prine is now "stable," while newcomer Kalie Shorr also shared on Twitter that she contracted it.

On Sunday, '90s country hitmaker Joe Diffie died from complications of the coronavirus.

Benson's announcement is below.