- Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday night, according to a statement on the club’s official website.
In the statement, Arsenal detailed the measures taken to protect those who had been in close contact with Arteta and prevent further spread of the virus:
“Arsenal personnel who had recent close contact with Mikel will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines. We expect this to be a significant number of people from Colney, including the full first-team squad and coaching staff, as well as a smaller number of people from our Hale End Academy which we have also temporarily closed as a precaution.”
The Gunners also believe those who weren’t in contact with Arteta can return to work in a few days. Meanwhile, a deep clean of club facilities, including the London Colney training base, has been promised.
Arsenal have also pledged to take advice from a variety of sources, including Public Health England. The latter institution will provide information on keeping other club employees safe.
The Gunners will also consult the Premier League and FA to discuss the ramifications for upcoming fixtures. Among those fixtures is the FA Cup quarter-final clash away to Sheffield United on Sunday, March 22.
Before then, Arsenal will make the trip to face Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday. The match is set to go ahead as things stand after England’s top flight confirmed earlier today fixtures would continue to be played:
However, the league has since announced on its official website an “emergency club meeting” will take place Friday to discuss the status of future fixtures.
Arsenal have already had one fixture postponed, a scheduled trip to face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday. BBC Sport reported how the decision was taken following the Gunners hosting Olympiakos in the UEFA Europa League, with the Greek club’s owner, Evangelos Marinakis, subsequently going into self-isolation after confirming he had also contracted the coronavirus.
The World Health Organisation (h/t CNN) has confirmed over 124,500 people have been diagnosed worldwide since the outbreak began.