The Columbus Crew confirmed on Wednesday evening that four players tested positive for COVID-19 this week ahead of Sunday’s MLS Cup playoff game against Nashville SC. Those players have self-isolated and are following a strict protocol. There were no additional positive results for players or coaches following additional testing.
Columbus first received two positive tests for players on Sunday, Nov. 22. After both players self-isolated and followed the club’s protocol, extensive contact tracing and facility sanitation took place. The team had a scheduled day off on Monday followed by two more players testing positive from Tuesday’s round of COVID-19 tests. These players also self-isolated and followed the club protocol.
According to MLS policy, players undergo Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests every other day, including the day before each match. The player’s positive test is confirmed when a player receives two consecutive positive test results.
According to a statement from the Crew, the club will continue to test each day this week in the build-up to Sunday’s playoff game. The team is scheduled to train Friday and Saturday before welcoming Nashville to MAPFRE Stadium on Sunday.
From the club’s press release:
“The health and safety of all players and staff remains the highest priority for the club and the four individuals will remain in isolation, to be monitored by the club’s medical staff. The club has been in regular communication with Major League Soccer and local health authorities on the matter.”
This is the third time during the 2020 season the Crew has dealt with positive COVID-19 tests. The Black & Gold had a player test positive early in Orlando, Florida prior to the MLS is Back Tournament in July. That player had to quarantine away from the team before he was cleared to play. Columbus then had to postpone the team’s Oct. 11 game against Orlando City SC game after two staff members, not coaches, tested positive for the virus two days prior to the game.
The Black & Gold will continue to prepare for the MLS Cup playoff game against Nashville following Thanksgiving. The Crew will host this postseason contest at MAPFRE Stadium on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. The game will air on ESPN.