- National Teams
A COVID-19 outbreak which has seen members of the Leicester Riders programme test positive has led to a number of scheduled games cancelled this weekend.
In a sign of how challenging the upcoming season could be, the BBL club’s away pre-season match up with Bristol Flyers scheduled for Friday night, along with this weekend’s Loughborough Riders and Charnwood Riders games – in their Lynch Trophy bubble group against Nottingham Hoods and Leicester Warriors, respectively – have all been cancelled as the club says they acting with an ‘abundance of caution’.
📰 Club statement: Covid-19
— Leicester Riders (@RidersBball) October 9, 2020
Hoopsfix has learned two members of the programme – believed to be part of the pathway as opposed to the BBL side – are currently confirmed with positive tests, as they await results from others, with numerous players being forced to self isolate for fourteen days due to the close proximity of the living and practice conditions across the entire programme.
The fourteen day self isolation period means next weekends scheduled Lynch Trophy games for Loughborough and Charnwood against the same opponents are also wiped off the slate, as the clubs are discussing potential options for rescheduling.
In a statement released on their website this morning, the Riders said:
This morning we received formal confirmation which shows that several members of the Riders programme have tested positive for COVID-19.
Leicester Riders’ priority is the health and well-being of its players and staff throughout its pathway programme.
The members who have tested positive, and people living in the same proximity, will now strictly follow government self-isolation guidelines.
We also have a wider care and responsibility to the players and staff from opposing teams. Therefore, with an abundance of caution, we have informed the BBL and Basketball England, and have cancelled the behind closed doors pre-season away Riders game against Bristol Flyers, scheduled for Friday night, and this weekend’s games for Loughborough Riders and Charnwood Riders.
Meanwhile, Hoopsfix understands NBL Division 1 & WBBL club Essex Rebels had their own COVID-19 outbreak at the end of last month after a ‘small number’ of players and staff tested positive.
“These positive cases came to light through our ongoing, regular testing of all the players and staff in our first team squads which is being conducted via private test facilities,” Director of Sport at University of Essex, Dave Parry told Hoopsfix.
In a statement released on the University of Essex website on September 25, registrar Bryn Morris said:
“A small number of positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed amongst staff and students which are linked to the University’s elite sports programme and associated junior programme.
“These individuals do not live on the Colchester Campus and are now self-isolating and the University is offering them advice and support. The majority are showing no symptoms and are feeling well.
“We would like to reassure our community that we have taken all necessary steps to contain this cluster of cases working through our established processes; this includes advising direct contacts to self-isolate in line with NHS guidelines.
“The University is now working with the Essex Contact Tracing Team, alongside colleagues from Essex County Council and Public Health England, to ensure all contacts of cases are identified and given appropriate advice. They are also ensuring optimal infection control measures are in place.
“As part of the University’s commitment to managing COVID-19 on its campuses, we have launched a voluntary rapid antibody test screening programme at all our campuses. PCR swab testing is also available when a clinical need is identified. All students and staff are being offered tests to keep any potential spread of the infection under control and to understand the pattern of cases on our campuses.
“The University also has extensive measures in place including enhanced cleaning regimes, increased hand washing and sanitising facilities, free face coverings and extensive signage to promote social distancing. Food packs for students who need to quarantine or self-isolate on our campus are also being provided.”