Norwich City was the latest team to have a player test positive for COVID-19 yesterday, and that news is a little alarming if you’re a fan of Tottenham Hotspur. According to the Premier League, Norwich had one of two positive coronavirus tests in the latest round of testing, which included 1200 people, and the Norwich player in question had played against Spurs in Friday’s friendly at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
That seems concerning! However, Tottenham is minimizing any worries. In a statement released to the press about the positive test, the club downplayed any risk associated with the player potentially spreading the virus to other players on the pitch, saying that the player in question did not have the UK government threshold of 15 minutes of close contact with any Tottenham player before or during the match.
“We continue to operate within the strict guidelines outlined by the Premier League to ensure we avoid any risk of infection spreading should anyone else test positive, including practising social distancing so no ‘close contacts’ are created, which has been defined by Government as being within two metres of a confirmed case for 15 minutes or more.
“This means that no other member of the squad or staff should be forced to self-isolate other than the person who returns a positive test result and their household members.
“The Norwich player in question has confirmed he had no ‘close contacts’ with our team yesterday and our squad has also verified this.”
The whole “15 minutes of contact” thing seems super arbitrary and weird to me, especially considering we still don’t REALLY know how this virus is spread or the conditions by which it can be mitigated during professional sport. But whatever. Football is coming back come hell or high water, and if the players, clubs and league are comfortable with using a governmental guideline of that nature to dictate its response then there’s really nothing any of us can do about it.
All we can really do is just hope that there aren’t any (more) COVID-19 positive tests at Spurs in the coming days and weeks. The club did state that Spurs’ testing has come back clean, though it obviously omitted the one positive player form last week, who presumably remains in quarantine for now.