Norwich City player tests positive for coronavirus ahead of Premier League restart
- Credit: PA
Results from the eighth round of coronavirus tests carried out on Premier League players and coaches have been announced, with two positives from two clubs from the 1,200 tests.
That takes the total to 16 from 8,687 as players and staff from clubs continue to be tested twice a week, ahead of the top flight resuming on Wednesday.
City released a statement on Saturday night saying: “Norwich City can confirm that one of its players has returned a positive test result following the recent round of Covid-19 testing.
“In line with the Premier League’s protocols, the player will now self-isolate for a period of seven days before being tested again at a later date. The player must return a negative test result before being able to resume training.
“The club will not name the player in question and asks that his request for privacy and confidentiality are respected at this time.”
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The Canaries are due to resume their campaign against Southampton on Friday evening, so the unnamed player will be unable to train fully this week, which is expected to keep that player out of contention for the match.
The latest tests were held on Thursday and Friday, ahead of the Canaries winning a friendly 2-1 at Tottenham Hotspur on Friday afternoon, thanks to goals from Josip Drmic and Mario Vrancic.
The Press Association report that Spurs have confirmed the City player in question did play against them but did not come into close contact with any of their squad, quoting a spokesman as saying: “We continue to operate within the strict guidelines outlined by the Premier League to ensure we avoid any risk of infection spreading should anyone else test positive, including practising social distancing so no ‘close contacts’ are created, which has been defined by government as being within two metres of a confirmed case for 15 minutes or more.
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“This means that no other member of the squad or staff should be forced to self-isolate other than the person who returns a positive test result and their household members.
“The Norwich player in question has confirmed he had no ‘close contacts’ with our team yesterday and our squad has also verified this.
“Our testing has continued to return only negative results for Covid since one positive reading was confirmed almost two weeks ago.”
As part of protocols for the restarted season approved by shareholders at a Premier League meeting on Thursday players will not need to self-isolate if someone from their team or an opposition player they have come into contact with tests positive for coronavirus.
The league believes its testing programme along with temperature checks and health questionnaires will allow them to mitigate the risks of the virus spreading between players during a match.
A clinical passport, proving that individual has tested negative for coronavirus within the last five days, must be presented to enter the ‘red zone’ of a stadium - basically the pitch and the area immediately around it.
Research on 288 Premier League matches this season, conducted by league officials, found that 98 percent of the time on-pitch interactions between players lasted less than five minutes in total. That is well under the 15 minutes of close contact the government sets as the threshold for someone to be traced when an individual tests positive.
The positive test is the first announced by the Canaries during the pandemic, with Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and Watford defender Adrian Mariappa among the 16 positive tests in recent weeks.
Canaries defender Sean Raggett also tested positive while with League One side Portsmouth and former Canaries winger Elliott Bennett, now at Championship club Blackburn Rovers, has also tested positive previously in the EFL.
All of those players reported no symptoms, with the virus mostly causing serious health issues for older people and those with underlying health issues.