28th November 2020



A-League on alert after fan at Newcastle game returns positive Covid test | Football

A-League fans who were at Newcastle Jets’ game against Western United at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday have been put on alert, after a second positive Covid-19 case was detected in the city.

A man in his 20s, believed to be a close contact of the teenager who tested positive on Wednesday, attended the fixture, which the Jets won 1-0.

Hunter New England Health has urged other people in the 2,570-strong crowd to monitor their health. If any symptoms develop, they have been encouraged to get tested and self-isolate immediately.

It is the first time since the resumption of professional sport in front of limited crowds that a person in attendance has tested positive for the virus.

But it is not the first time the club has been linked to the coronavirus.

An unnamed Jets player became the first professional footballer in Australia to contract Covid-19 at the end of March before sport went behind closed doors, although he remained asymptomatic.

And this week’s initial case in Newcastle was confirmed by the club on Wednesday night to be a Jets academy player.

Following that diagnosis, the Jets immediately cancelled all academy training while contact tracing was undertaken and the player’s teammates, coach and manager went into self-isolation.

The club said on Wednesday there were no concerns over any contact with the senior squad given the competition’s strict biosecurity regulations.

Football Federation Australia said there had been no known contact between crowd members and players, staff and officials and confirmed the Newcastle venue was “currently undergoing a full clean”.

“There are no known cross-over opportunities with teams, high performance staff and match officials as they all operate within designated controlled zones,” FFA said.

Seating in the bays was capped at 25% capacity – with every second row blocked out and only half of each row available – to allow for social distancing.

Ticket transaction information was retained for contact tracing and tracking purposes while patrons had been directed not to attend if they were unwell, diagnosed with Covid-19, in contact with someone with the virus or awaiting test results.

There has been one game played at McDonald Jones Stadium since – Wednesday night’s match between Wellington Phoenix and Brisbane Roar – but there was no crowd in attendance.

The A-League season is being completed in New South Wales, with interstate clubs based in hubs. Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar are both based in the Hunter Valley.

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