The Major League Soccer has informed that as many as 18 MLS players and 6 club staff have so far been tested positive for novel coronavirus.
“As of Sunday, 18 MLS players and six club staff received positive Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests prior to travel to Orlando for the MLS is Back Tournament. A total of 668 players have been tested since early June,” MLS said in a statement.
The competition is set to resume on July 8 for which the training started on June 4.
Twenty-five of the 26 MLS clubs were able to commence full team training prior to traveling to Orlando for the MLS is Back Tournament, and all of the 25 clubs conducted testing pursuant to this protocol, it said.
MLS said that prior to traveling to Orlando, all players, coaches, referees, club personnel and league staff are required to complete an additional two PCR tests 24 hours apart and within approximately 72 hours of travel.
“Upon arrival in Florida, all individuals are required to immediately take another PCR test and are quarantined until they receive the results of that test.
“To date, 329 people have been administered PCR tests on-site, and two were positive, both of which were players who had just arrived,” it added.The positive tests involved 18 players and six staff members prior to teams arriving in Orlando for the event at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and two more player positives on site. The league has conducted a total of 668 player tests since the start of training camp early this month, and the 2.7 per cent rate of positive Covid-19 tests among players is roughly half that for the NBA as that league also prepares for a Florida-based, quarantined restart.
MLS teams were able to return to full training earlier this month, so long as activities did not conflict with local health guidelines. Players and staff were subject to two initial Covid-19 tests, and have been tested every other day since.
Upon arriving in Orlando, all individuals involved with the MLS tournament are required to immediately take another Covid-19 tests, and are quarantined until results are known. The league has conducted 329 tests among teams that arrived in Florida already in preparation of the event, with two players testing positive there. Those individuals will received clinical assessment by healthcare providers, and be isolated until cleared. Those in close contact with positive cases could also be isolated.