Update on Pre-Travel COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Clubs in 2020 Concacaf Champions League
What happens when a team has players that test positive for COVID-19? That is the question. Here is how Concacaf is handling the issue after NYCFC had 3 players test positive.
Concacaf and the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League (SCCL) participating clubs are continuing preparations for the successful delivery of the Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Final of the competition in Orlando, Florida, from December 15-22.
The preparations have required all clubs to follow strict health and safety protocols which include an extensive pre-travel COVID-19 testing regime.
At New York City FC (NYCFC), three new COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the past week and this has led Concacaf, with the agreement of the club, to alter their travel arrangements. This decision was made following advice from independent medical experts who are supporting the safe delivery of the SCCL in Orlando.
The three New York City FC players tested positive for COVID-19 prior to their Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal match against UANL Tigres Tuesday night.
New York City FC will now travel to Orlando, Florida on Tuesday morning, December 15, prior to the Club’s Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal later that evening.
The Club was originally scheduled to depart for Florida on Sunday, December 13, but changed travel plans after three players tested positive for COVID-19 during routine testing last week.
As part of the Concacaf required pre-travel COVID testing regime, NYCFC informed the confederation last week that, in separate rounds of testing, a total of three new positive cases were confirmed.
Following the original confirmed positive test, all players and staff underwent daily Rapid Point of Care (RPOC) testing and PCR testing which revealed two other positive tests.
The last positive test was returned on Friday and all other First Team players and staff have returned negative tests since then. A fourth player has continued to test negative, but is deemed a close contact and will not travel to Orlando with the rest of the team.
The individuals concerned were immediately isolated from their team and have been made aware of all relevant protocols and local public health requirements.
The club has amended its delegation by drafting in replacements from its original 35-player roster.
As one of the three new cases was established just before the club’s planned travel date, Concacaf had agreed to provide the club with more time to conduct additional testing, and to fly into Orlando on match-day (Tuesday, December 15) to play their Quarterfinal match against Tigres UANL.
Should the club progress, Concacaf has made arrangements for the delegation to isolate and conduct further testing in Orlando prior to competing in the Semifinals.
Source: Press Release. Image Courtesy of NYCFC