Kilkenny club members self-isolating after GAA player tests positive for coronavirus

By John Fogarty
GAA Correspondent

It is believed the player has self-isolated as well as those with whom he has deemed to be in close contact.
It is believed the player has self-isolated as well as those with whom he has deemed to be in close contact.

A number of members of a Kilkenny GAA club are understood to be self-isolating as a result of one of them testing positive for coronavirus.

The quarantine period could extend to 14 days as they are considered close contacts on the basis of provisional guidance adopted by the GAA.

A representative of the Kilkenny County Board confirmed to KCLR Radio on Monday that a club player had contracted Covid-19 but they would not be identifying the club in question nor the player as it was a private medical matter. The official added that all GAA and HSE guidelines and protocols have been followed.

The news came on the day contact training across all age levels was permitted for the first time since March 12. The GAA gave the go-ahead for non-contact training in reduced numbers to resume from last Wednesday.

On Sunday, interim guidance to the GAA stated that all team-mates and members of team management of a player who displays coronavirus symptoms in the 48-hour period after a training session or game “should be considered close contacts until advised otherwise by public health authorities”.

The recommendation after a club player tests positive following the display of symptoms during those 48 hours is to suspend all further training and games activity until public health contact tracers undertake full close contact assessment and testing.

Members of the infected player’s team, including manager, coach, and selectors, must also self-isolate as per public health advice and until advised otherwise.

Up to Sunday, the GAA had been awaiting clarification from the Government but had expected team-mates and management to be considered casual contacts and therefore only required to monitor their own health for 14 days.

Speaking to KCLR on Monday morning unaware of and prior to the confirmation of the positive test, Kilkenny senior hurling team doctor Tadhg Crowley stressed that young adults have to be responsible about their health.

“There are rumours circulating that young people are fine - they’re not fine. They get affected less than older people but still people get affected hugely with this virus. Most people recover from the virus but there are a percentage of people who die from it and that can happen in young people as well.

“It’s a privilege to be allowed back to your sport. It’s a privilege to be allowed to go back to a normality that some people in our society haven’t got back to yet. So it’s incumbent on everyone involved in sport be it administrators or players that you really have to take individual responsibility.

“And if you are hanging around in groups that is outside the rules then you have to step up and say, ‘Lads, this just isn’t good enough. I’m allowed back to play my sport, I got to take extra precautions for the good of myself, my club, my family and our society.”

- Updated with further information at 7.31pm.

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