Chelsea player Callum Hudson-Odoi has tested positive for coronavirus, the club announced early Friday morning.
The 19-year-old England youngster is the latest football figure to test positive for the virus that has caused sporting event cancellations and suspensions across the globe.
In a statement, the club said: “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.
“It is expected that those who did not have close contact with Callum will return to work in the coming days. In the meantime, the men’s team building, one of several separate buildings at our training ground, will remain closed. The rest of our training facility, Stamford Bridge and our other facilities are operating as normal.
“Callum displayed symptoms similar to a mild cold on Monday morning and has not been at the training ground since then as a precaution. However, his test came in positive this evening and he will undergo a period of self-isolation. Despite testing positive for the virus, Callum is doing well and looking forward to returning to the training ground as soon as it is possible.”
The Premier League will hold an emergency meeting on Friday morning to discuss future fixtures after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was also diagnosed with the coronavirus.
“In light of Arsenal’s announcement tonight confirming that their first-team coach Mikel Arteta has tested positive for COVID-19, the Premier League will convene an emergency club meeting tomorrow morning regarding future fixtures,” the league said in a statement on Thursday night.
Arsenal’s match against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday was postponed following the revelation on Arteta.
The Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal, scheduled for March 11, was the first Premier League game to be postponed. Meanwhile, three unnamed Leicester City players are in self-isolation after showing symptoms for the coronavirus, as well as Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy, according to ESPN sources.
La Liga, Ligue 1 and Serie A, among others, have announced interruptions in play this week. While in other sports, the NBA and NHL have suspended their seasons while the wildly popular NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments have been cancelled for the first time in their history.
COVID-19 is a new strain of the coronavirus that has surged around the world in recent months.
The coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory diseases. Flu is caused by a different virus. There is no vaccine for coronavirus, though researchers are working on one and hope to begin testing soon.
Older people, especially those with chronic illnesses such as heart or lung disease, are most at risk. The coronavirus spreads mainly through coughs and sneezes, though it also can be transferred from surfaces.
The best way to prevent infection is by frequent hand-washing, cleaning surfaces with regular household sprays and wipes, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.