AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn defensive coordinator Derek Mason said he has tested positive for COVID-19, like head coach Bryan Harsin.

Mason said in a Twiter post that he is fully vaccinated and has recovered, urging others to get the shots. Harsin has declined to reveal whether he has been vaccinated.

“Having lost two family members to COVID last year as well as being the father of a daughter who is immunocompromised, I understand why I made the decision to vaccinate,” Mason said. “I can only speak for my own decision, but for those who are on the fence, I encourage you to look at ‘your why’ and consider protecting yourself, your loved ones and the healthcare workers who are working so tirelessly to save lives. I am thankful I did.”

Harsin, who tested positive on Aug. 19, is isolating at home for at least 10 days leading up to Auburn's opener Sept. 4 against Akron.

He said at Southeastern Conference media days that the Tigers were about 60% vaccinated but said later that the number had improved since then. Harsin didn't offer specific numbers.

Teams reaching the SEC recommended 85% vaccination threshold can stop regularly testing players, coaches and staff members regardless of their vaccination status. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said at media days in July that six of the 14 teams had reached that threshold. Auburn division rivals Mississippi, Alabama, LSU, Arkansas and Texas A&M have announced that they've met the 85% standard.

About 36% of Alabama residents are fully vaccinated, the lowest rate in the country.


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