Seattle Sounders say staff member has tested positive for COVID-19
Published Sunday, March 15, 2020 8:00PM EDT
TORONTO -- The Seattle Sounders say a member of their support staff has tested positive for COVID-19.
"That individual is currently in an appropriate isolation protocol," the MLS champions said in a statement Sunday. "No other cases within Sounders FC have been identified."
The news came hours after Major League Soccer, which has suspended match play for 30 days due to the COVID-19 outbreak, extended its moratorium on team training through March 20.
The league says during that time MLS players "are expected to remain in each club's respective market, and have been advised to exercise safe social distancing measures."
The Sounders said while the affected member did work the club's March 7 match against Columbus at CenturyLink Field, the individual did not have access to the general public.
"The individual did not become ill until four days after the match, and only had access to the team in controlled areas during the game," the club said in a statement. "Based upon current guidance from club medical staff, infectious disease specialists and public health authorities, this case does not present a risk to the public, the visiting team or Sounders FC.
"The individual was not present for Sounders FC operations or soccer activities at any time between the match and the positive test, and the club has been advised that additional precautions are not required at this time."
MLS says it is working with public health authorities, in collaboration with its clubs, MLS Players Association and other North American pro leagues "to finalize a protocol that would permit players to access training facilities for rehab or individual training under safe conditions during the team training moratorium."
The league says it remains in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
The league announced Thursday it was suspending match play as league continued to assess the impact of COVID-19.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 15, 2020.