The Seattle Sounders on Sunday announced the club had learned of its first case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). According to the club, a member of the organization's support staff has COVID-19, and that individual is currently in what the club called "appropriate isolation protocol," per a team press release. The Sounders added that no other cases within the organization has been identified.
The affected member of the team's staff did work the March 7 game between the Sounders and Columbus Crew SC at CenturyLink Field, though the individual did not have access to the general public and only had access to the team in controlled areas during the game. The person did not fall ill until four days after the game.
The Sounders indicated that based on 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 the Sounders. The club added that the individual was not present for Sounders 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.
"Over this current weekend, we were informed of a confirmed case of COVID-19 that directly impacted our club," said Sounders GM & president of soccer Garth Lagerwey. "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."
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Major League Soccer on March 12 announced the suspension of play through April 11, with similar measures being implemented across the world of soccer and sports in general. MLS has also instituted a training moratorium for its teams, which was recently extended through Friday, March 20.