NYCFC confirm first case of COVID-19 in club's sporting department

New York City FC announced on Thursday that a member of the club's sporting department had tested positive for COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus. The individual is said by the club to be feeling well after exhibiting mild symptoms and is currently observing appropriate isolation protocols. 

In a statement, the club added:

NYCFC has been working closely with local infectious disease specialists who have instructed players, team staff and those believed to have come in close contact to maintain self-isolation and immediately report any symptoms they may be experiencing to team medical personnel. No other cases within NYCFC have been identified at this time.

In addition to working with an infectious disease specialist, NYCFC is in close consultation with the CDC, New York State Department of Health, Major League Soccer (MLS), Concacaf and relevant First Team opponents regarding this situation. The health and safety of NYCFC players, coaches, staff and fans continues to be the Club’s top priority. The Club is committed to the health practices outlined by the CDC and encourages all NYCFC fans and New Yorkers to do the same. Follow the links for the CDC's  and New York State government's advice. 

Earlier on Thursday, Major League Soccer announced that it was extending its postponement of all games in accordance with recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to cancel all mass gatherings for eight weeks. The league's target return date is May 10.

NYCFC CEO Brad Sims said that the individual confirmed to have COVID-19 is currently recovering at home and "feeling better after only a short illness."

He added that no members of the public or the club's supporters are thought to be at risk. 

‘’We will continue to be diligent and work closely with our team of medical experts to do our part to keep our community safe, healthy and informed," Sims said. "Though we do not believe any fans or members of the public have been put at risk, sharing information is vital at this time and we will continue to proactively update with any further details or confirmed cases. Soccer is a team sport, and one thing we can implement during this challenging period is how to work together. This is a time when we all need to ensure we’re doing what’s best for the wider community and greater good. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all fans to take care of themselves and one another. We are New Yorkers, and we will get through this together.”

The New York Red Bulls also put out a statement on the confirmed case. Last Wednesday, Red Bull Arena hosted NYCFC for their Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal match against Tigres UANL.

The statement read:

The New York Red Bulls are aware of New York City FC’s announcement that a member of the NYCFC sporting department has tested positive for novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

At this time, we have informed staff members who worked the New York City FC – Tigres UANL Concacaf Champions League match at Red Bull Arena last Wednesday. In consultation with club medical officials, it has been determined that our staff working the match were at low risk for exposure, given the limited interaction with NYCFC personnel and the time between the match and beginning of symptoms. We will continue to monitor and take all necessary precautions.

Before the postponement of the MLS season, we had increased the pre- and post-event cleaning processes at Red Bull Arena. All areas of Red Bull Arena were thoroughly cleaned after this match, and due to work from home protocols, most staff did not go back to work at Red Bull Arena after Wednesday night’s match.