COVID-19 infections in Orlando’s “bubble” will force further postponements


View of the Adidas Nativo XXV ball, from the 2020 season of the United States Professional Soccer League (MLS). EFE / Alberto Domingo Carreiro / Archive

Drafting Sports (USA), Jul 5 (EFE) .- The nightmare of infections to COVID-19 continues within the “bubble” that the Professional Soccer League (MLS) of the United States has established in Orlado and sources close to the organization confirmed that there will have to be more games postponed from the “Returning Tournament” that starts from Wednesday.
However, while there is great concern among MLS officials, it is believed for now that the infections have not spread and are under control.
Orlando City teams are slated to face Inter Miami on Wednesday as scheduled as the opening game of the competition that will get all 26 MLS teams in shape after the regular season suspension of the coronavirus pandemic. .
But there is no longer any doubt that other matches on the schedule set for the tournament will be delayed due to COVID-19 cases.
The reality is that a combination of positive tests that have delayed the trip of several teams and more positive tests in the days after the teams arrived in Orlando have delayed the start of training and will probably require changes to the schedule and also in the schedules.
Meanwhile, the MLS, through its deputy commissioner and president Mark Abbott, insists that all comprehensive health and safety protocols, which include pretests before traveling to Orlando, have been fully followed.
“In consultation with infectious disease experts and government health authorities, the MLS has been allowed to identify and isolate early those infected who likely contracted the virus before traveling,” Abbott explained. “Their isolation has been complete so that they can receive care and ensure that we minimize the risk of transmission to other participants.”
MLS staff inside the bubble are tested every other day. If an individual tests positive, they will be isolated until authorized by a medical professional. Contact tracking is done to see who else might be at risk, with more people quarantined.
In this way, the staff integrated with the teams that are staying at the Swan and Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista (Orlando) together with a panel of experts in infectious diseases, the league does not believe that currently the community has spread within the hotel MLS.
Instead, the league believes that all exposure to COVID-19 originated in the teams’ local markets, which is also unproven.
Since the teams arrived at the Swan and Dolphin Resort, which is operated by Marriott and not Disney, 90 percent of the staff working on the premises are regularly screened and 100% of the transportation drivers who carry the teams .
On Saturday night, the MLS reported that of 1,191 players, coaches, umpires and staff tested by the COVID-19 in Orlando, two soccer players tested positive.
Their teams were not identified. MLS provides testing updates every other day, so it is expected to do so again tomorrow, Monday.
Previously, MLS had already reported FC Dallas’ six COVID-19 positives, while the Vancouver Whitecaps confirmed they had two positive players.
Multiple media outlets reported that four other FC Dallas players and a member of the coaching staff tested positive, prompting postponement of the Texan team’s game against the Whitecaps.
Anyone found to be positive is transferred to isolation in a separate part of the MLS hotel, and those who have been exposed to the person must be quarantined.
Exposed members of a team’s delegation are tested for 14 consecutive days.
The Nashville SC team was also known to have five players who tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Orlando.
As a result of the isolation requirements, Dallas and Nashville have been unable to conduct team training, which means that their physical and technical training is far from being the best.
Toronto FC and Colorado Rapids had to delay the trip to Orlando, and TFC announced that a person from the delegation reported symptoms of COVID-19 and the team would conduct further tests before flying to Orlando.
While two members of the Colorado delegation tested positive on Sunday, prompting further testing and delaying the trip.
All interruptions in travel and training will result in changes to the tournament schedule, something that had not been foreseen by the MLS, as if the NBA, which will not start the regular competition until next July 30.
MLS originally planned to follow the same type of timeline, but a source confirmed that it altered the schedule when players complained about being quarantined in Orlando for a month.
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