After a week full of COVID-19 drama, a fresh scare has gone through the AFL with the league informed today of a Marvel Stadium security contractor who had tested positive.
The contractor, who had last worked on Monday June 29 patrolling a stadium service entry hadn’t worked since Monday and had no contact with any sealed football-related areas, a release from the AFL said.
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The stadium has been thoroughly cleaned since then with daily cleans on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday along with two intensive pre-match cleans before the arrival of players and officials for tonight’s match between Carlton and St Kilda, which was moved from the MCG to Marvel Stadium.
“The Department of Health and Human Services wrote to the AFL this afternoon saying they were satisfied that the stadium had undertaken all risk management protocols and deep cleaned the stadium in accordance with procedure and gave the go-ahead to the game proceeding at Marvel Stadium tonight with no significantly increased risk,” the statement read.
“The AFL also took steps to ensure that no one who worked the same shift on Monday with the confirmed case would be working at the Stadium this weekend.”
It comes after the AFL rescheduled three games in the round five fixture because of Victoria’s spike in COVID-19 cases after Queensland refused to have Victorian teams cross its border.
The Queensland government didn’t want Richmond coming to town to play West Coast on the Gold Coast on Thursday night.
It means the Tigers will stay in Melbourne and play the Demons, who were scheduled to play Sydney.
The Swans will instead travel to Queensland to play the Eagles, who have been located in the Sunshine State for the past few weeks.
The Carlton-St Kilda clash was moved to Thursday as well from Saturday, shifting from the MCG to Marvel.
Earlier this week, Carlton football boss Brad Lloyd said “I think Marvel was where the AFL wanted it played and we’re comfortable doing that,” following discussions between CEO Cain Liddle and AFL boss Gillon McLachlan.
Collingwood star Steele Sidebottom was also hit with a four-match ban after he hand teammate Lyden Dunn allegedly breached the league’s coronavirus protocols.
Sidebottom and Dunn visited injured teammate Jeremy Howe before taking an Uber — which is not allowed under the AFL’s strict guidelines — back to Dunn’s home.
Howe will undergo knee surgery after suffering a horrific injury during Friday’s two-point loss to the Giants, potentially ending his season.
Sidebottom is reported to have visited the home of part-time Collingwood employee Daniel Wells, who is not among the approved staff members players can be in contact with.
Channel 7 later revealed Sidebottom was driven home by police on Sunday morning. There is no suggestion he did anything wrong, and he has not been charged.