Reba McEntire Says She Actually Did Not Have COVID: 'I Probably Had the RSV Virus'

At the beginning of August, the country star said that she and boyfriend Rex Linn had both tested positive for COVID-19

Reba McEntire is clarifying her previous statement that she had tested positive for COVID-19.

Speaking with Nancy O'Dell on Monday's Talk Shop Live, McEntire, 66, said that while she believed she had contracted COVID-19 earlier this summer, it turns out that she had been suffering from 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," the country star said, adding that she seemingly had a false positive COVID test.

"I had my antibodies from my vaccine," McEntire explained. "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 with similar symptoms to those of COVID-19, though nowhere near the death rate.

reba and rex linn
Reba McEntire and Rex Linn. ABC via Getty

Previously, McEntire said in a TikTok livestream that she and her boyfriend, CSI: Miami actor Rex Linn, had both contracted COVID even though they were both vaccinated.

"I just want to say one thing: this has been a hard year and it's getting rougher again," she said in early August. "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."

Reba McEntire
Reba McEntire. Steve Granitz/WireImage

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Such breakthrough cases of COVID-19 after vaccinations are rare, but possible and expected, as the vaccines are not 100 percent effective in preventing infections.

Still, vaccinated people who test positive will likely be asymptomatic or experience a far milder illness than if they were not vaccinated. The majority of deaths from COVID-19 — around 98 to 99 percent — are in unvaccinated people.

Reba Mcentire and Boyfriend Rex Linn
Reba McEntire and boyfriend Rex Linn. Reba McEntire/Instagram

As for her health now, McEntire told O'Dell on Monday that she's "doin' great."

"I'm prayin' for everybody who's contacted it; family members, friends, I'm sure prayin' for all of ya," McEntire said. "'Cause whatever I had, it sure wasn't fun."

And while she did not specify whether Linn, 64, also had a false positive COVID-19 test, she did say the pandemic brought them together.

"We fell in love during COVID," McEntire said. "He makes me laugh. He takes care of me."

She even hopes to act alongside him one day.

"I've always wanted to do a Western," McEntire said. "Rex and I talk about it all the time because we were raised around cattle and horses. He loves to team rope, I love to barrel race, and we both got into show business. So that was always our passion, to be in a Western. To get to be on one together would be a blast."

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