Marvel Stadium has been listed as Melbourne’s next COVID-19 hotspot after the government confirmed an infected fan attended the Essendon and North Melbourne clash last Sunday.
Individuals sitting on Level 1 between Aisles 5 and 28 or Level 3 in between Aisles 6 and 29 have been told to get tested and stay isolated until they receive a negative result.
A deep clean of the identified zone inside Marvel Stadium has now been undertaken.
News of a second positive case at an AFL match comes after the league’s 10 Victorian clubs were all put into lockdown for seven days in response to Melbourne’s COVID-19 outbreak.
The AFL told its Victorian teams today it was taking extra steps to avoid any impact on the competition and upcoming fixtures.
Players, coaches and club staff will only be allowed to leave their homes for four reasons: shopping for food and supplies, care giving, exercise and work – including training and rehab.
All 10 teams are still able to train together as a full group, but clubs’ meeting sizes have been significantly reduced.
Marvel Stadium would be the second AFL ground to be considered a hotspot, joining the MCG after a fan who attended the 3:20 pm AEST Collingwood-Port Adelaide clash last Sunday testing positive to COVID-19.
All fans who were sitting in Zone 4, Level 1 of the Great Southern Stand between bays M1 and M16 have already been contacted and told to immediately get tested and isolate.
The MCG will also do a deep clean of the section of the stadium identified in the latest outbreak. Collingwood’s clash against Geelong at 1:45 pm AEST on Saturday will be the first match at the venue since the outbreak.
Port Adelaide players and staff are in self-isolation after travelling back to Adelaide on Sunday evening on a commercial flight that had fans in the same section as the infected individual.
As a result of the outbreak, Essendon, Carlton and Hawthorn were all required to depart Victoria earlier than previously scheduled ahead of their interstate matches this weekend.
The Bombers travelled to Perth on Wednesday morning ahead of their Saturday clash against West Coast, while Carlton also travelled to Sydney on Wednesday prior to its own clash against the Swans.
Also complicating matters for Essendon is the fact that the Bay 101 cafe in Port Melbourne, which has been listed as an exposure site, is owned by list manager Adrian Dodoro.
According to the Herald Sun, Essendon has confirmed that Dodoro was not at the cafe during the listed time period on May 24, while no other player, official or family member visited the cafe either.
Hawthorn is expected to travel to Darwin on Thursday prior to its clash against the Gold Coast Suns. All three matches are currently slated to go ahead as originally scheduled.
The Adelaide Crows’ match against Richmond at the MCG on Sunday afternoon has also been impacted by the latest outbreak, with South Australia closing its borders to Greater Melbourne from 6pm on Wednesday.
The team will need special permission to fly in and out of Victoria for the clash, and SA Chief Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier, said the Crows would “need to provide information to our exemption team and we can do a work around”.
Adelaide is likely to have to fly in and out on the day of the game, with the scheduled 1:10 pm AEST bounce time potentially being moved back to allow for the travel.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!