Everton’s first team squad and coaching staff are self-isolating after an unnamed player showed signs consistent with the coronavirus pandemic.
The news comes after Premier League announced an ‘emergency club meeting’ later on Friday after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea forward Callum Hudson-Odoi became the first manager and player respectively to test positive for coronavirus in the league.
An statement posted on Everton’s official website at 9.25am GMT on Friday said:
“Everton Football Club can confirm that, as a precautionary measure, its entire first-team squad and coaching staff are undertaking a period of self-isolation following medical advice.
“The step has been taken after a first-team player reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus. The Club is in regular contact with the player in question and is monitoring the wellbeing of all players and staff.
“The health, welfare and safety of all Everton players, staff and stakeholders is the Club’s absolute priority. Therefore, the Club has taken the decision to close down all Everton workplaces including USM Finch Farm, Goodison Park and its headquarters at the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool City Centre. The Club’s retail store at Goodison Park will also close but its Liverpool ONE store is unaffected and will remain open.
“Everton will continue to adhere to UK Government and Public Health guidelines with regards to the closure of its facilities and wellbeing of staff and will be discussing next steps with regards to upcoming fixtures with the Premier League on Friday morning.
“Further updates will be provided in due course, including guidance relating to forthcoming fixtures.”
UPDATE: As of 11:07am GMT, the club added -
“To clarify our earlier statement, Everton Football Club can confirm that one member of the Everton first-team squad reported a high temperature last night and is now undertaking a period of self-isolation for seven days.
“In line with Government guidelines no other players are self-isolating at this stage but the Club’s USM training facility has been closed as a precaution and staff, including players, have been advised to stay away from all Club sites until further notice.”
UPDATE: As of 11:06am GMT, the Premier League, English Football League and Football Association released a joint statement saying the season has been suspended until April 3rd at the earliest.
Leicester City yesterday announced that three players were showing symptoms while Benjamin Mendy of Manchester City reporters the same.
Arsenal’s trip to Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday was postponed on Thursday evening shortly after news broke of Mikel Arteta testing positive for coronavirus, while the Gunners’ training centre has closed.
Chelsea have also announced they will self-isolate after news of Callum Hudson-Odoi contracting the virus.
Official advice from Public Health England is that most people will be unlikely to spread the virus seven days after first developing symptoms.
But those who have had contact with a confirmed case but who have not yet displayed symptoms themselves have been advised to quarantine themselves for 14 days.