The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout Premier League personnel increased in the early hours of Friday morning, with Chelsea the latest club to be hit.
The Blues announced via a statement on their website that Callum Hudson-Odoi (£5.3m) had tested positive for the virus and that their training facility would undergo a partial closure.
Crucially, in line with government health guidelines, Chelsea personnel who had recent close contact with Hudson-Odoi, which includes the full first-team squad, will now also enter into a period of self-isolation.
“Chelsea men’s team player Callum Hudson-Odoi had a positive test result for Coronavirus returned this evening. Chelsea personnel who had recent close contact with the player in the men’s team building will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines. These will include initially the full men’s team squad, coaching staff and a number of backroom staff.” – Chelsea statement
Hudson-Odoi becomes the first Premier League player to be announced as having contracted COVID-19 but the virus had already hit Arsenal late on Thursday.
The Gunners announced that manager Mikel Arteta had tested positive for COVID-19 and that their full senior squad would also self-isolate.
Shortly after, Brighton confirmed that their Gameweek 30 meeting with Arsenal was postponed.
No announcement has been made about Chelsea’s scheduled fixture with Aston Villa, although this is expected to be postponed as well.
The football community now awaits the results of an emergency Premier League meeting on Friday morning.
The league had officially stated on Thursday evening that all matches would go ahead as planned this weekend, although this was less than an hour before the Arteta news broke.
In response to that, the Premier League’s hand was clearly forced and an emergency meeting scheduled.
What to do if you think you might have coronavirus*
If you think you might have coronavirus or you’ve been in close contact with someone who has it:
- stay at home and avoid close contact with other people
- do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
- use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next
The 111 coronavirus service will tell you if you need to continue to stay at home (self-isolate) or if you need medical help.
* Information taken from the official NHS website.