After telling fans earlier this month that she and boyfriend Rex Linn had contracted COVID-19, Reba McEntire is walking back that statement, telling Nancy O’Dell on Monday’s Talk Shop Live that she now believes she had a different respiratory virus. “I did say that I had COVID but when I got tested my antibodies — it came up that I had not had COVID,” she said, explaining that it appears she falsely tested positive for the virus.
“I had my antibodies from my vaccine,” McEntire continued. “So I had all the symptoms, so I was kinda probably — I did get tested, you know the test that I had and it said that I had it but then the nurse that came and tested me for my antibodies said that I probably had the RSV virus.” RSV, respiratory syncytial virus, is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms, according to the CDC.
McEntire added to O’Dell that she is now “doing great.” “I’m praying for everybody who’s contacted it; family members, friends, I’m sure praying for all of ya,” she said. “‘Cause whatever I had, it sure wasn’t fun.”
The country singer had initially told fans in a TikTok livestream that she and Linn had gotten COVID-19 after having been vaccinated. “I just want to say one thing: this has been a hard year and it’s getting rougher again,” she said at the time. “You guys, please stay safe. Wear your mask. Do what you have to do. Stay home. It’s not fun to get this. I did get it. Rex and I got it and it’s not fun. You don’t feel good. We were both vaccinated and we still got it, so stay safe, stay home, and be protected the best you can.”
She further discussed her symptoms in a recent interview with Variety, telling the publication that she became sick in July and “was laying on the couch for two or three days, maybe four,” she recalled. “I thought I had a sinus infection, because I wasn’t down for the count, in the hospital. I just laid around and watched all my favorite shows on Netflix and Prime Video and Hulu.”
The Oklahoma native added that when she lost her sense of smell, she thought that she might have COVID-19 and got tested for the virus, and her test came back positive. “You know what, last night I smelled something and I went, ‘Oh my gosh,'” she said. “What you take for granted all the time, with your sense of taste and smell. Thank God I didn’t lose my sense of taste, because I’m a foodie. Oh, I love to eat. And I didn’t lose it — maybe a touch, a little bit. Things are not as vibrant taste-wise.”