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Derek Mason shares breakthrough covid case, encourages others to get vaccinated

The Auburn defensive coordinator said he expects to return to the field soon.

Bryan Harsin isn't the only high-level Auburn staffer to suffer a COVID-19 case in the days leading up to the staff's first game on the Plains.

Defensive coordinator Derek Mason on Tuesday announced he has suffered a breakthrough case, though the timing is unclear. "Thankfully I have recovered and I am looking forward to returning to the field as we continue to prepare for the upcoming season," he said.

Mason's vaccinated status means he is less likely to suffer symptoms and less likely to be contagious to others. He mentioned being the father of an immunocompromised daughter as part of the reason why he got vaccinated.

"I can only speak for my own decision, but for those of you 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 tirelessly to save lives," he said. "I am thankful I did."

Harsin tested positive on Thursday and declined to say, then or at SEC media days, whether he'd been vaccinated. 

"I'm not going to make a comment on my situation because I wouldn't expect our players to be asked that or our staff to be asked that, and that's something we started a long time ago," he said at SEC media days last month.

Auburn hosts Akron next Saturday.