Sounders staff member, Seattle Dragons XFL player have COVID-19
The Seattle Sounders FC soccer team announced Sunday that a member of its support staff has a confirmed case of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The staff member was present at the Sounders’ last home match on March 7 against the Columbus Crew at CenturyLink Field, but the team said in a press release the individual “did not have access to the general public.”
“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 release states. “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.”
CLUB STATEMENT: Sounders FC issues public information on first confirmed case of COVID-19 surrounding the club.
There is no active risk to the public, and no other confirmed cases within Sounders FC have been identified.
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) March 15, 2020
This is the second known instance of a Seattle-based pro sports team with a case of COVID-19. An unnamed player for the XFL’s Seattle Dragons has contracted the virus, the league announced in a statement Sunday morning.
The Dragons player competed in the team’s March 7 game in Houston and has been in quarantine since he self-reported to medical staff March 10.
The XFL called off its inaugural season last week due to the coronavirus pandemic.
XFL statement pic.twitter.com/JaKq3iNKrr
— XFL (@xfl2020) March 15, 2020
Like the Sounders, the Dragons play their home games at CenturyLink Field. On Thursday, it was reported a part-time stadium employee that worked at a Feb. 22 Dragons game at the stadium tested positive for coronavirus.
The affected Sounders employee is under “appropriate isolate protocol,” per the team’s release. No other cases have been identified within the Sounders FC organization.
“Over this current weekend, we were informed of a confirmed case of COVID-19 that directly impacted our club,” Sounders FC General Manager and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey said in the release. “In a situation like this, our aim is to provide as much information as possible in order to properly inform the public. We remain in constant communication with a number of regional and national health authorities, and based on the information we collectively have at this time, there is not felt to be a risk to any fans that attended our March 7 match at CenturyLink Field. The individual that tested positive for COVID-19 did not have access to the public on matchday, and fortunately we have no other confirmed cases within the club at this time. Alongside public health authorities, we are actively monitoring this situation, and should new details emerge, we will continue proactively communicating with our community. These are trying times, and this is a good reminder for all of us to remain vigilant and to take care of one another. I’m also pleased to relay this impacted individual is recovering and is in good spirits.”
The Sounders are part of Major League Soccer, which announced last week it will suspend operations for 30 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sounders have announced they will not conduct their usual full-team training sessions at Starfire Sports in Tukwila through Friday, March 20.