Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi has tested positive for coronavirus, leading the Blues to enact a partial closure of their training facilities.
Hudson-Odoi, 19, is the first Premier League player to be confirmed to suffer from the virus, which has caused league closures in Spain, Italy and France as it was elevated to a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.
The Premier League in contrast declared earlier on Thursday that the weekend’s fixtures would go ahead as planned, although a meeting was subsequently called with clubs for the next day following the news that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta had been diagnosed with the illness.
Brighton have already moved to suspend their clash against the Gunners ahead of the league’s decision and Chelsea’s visit to Aston Villa must also be in serious jeopardy after the club confirmed the news.
“Chelsea men’s team player Callum Hudson-Odoi had a positive test result for Coronavirus returned this evening,” the Blues stated on their official website.
“Chelsea personnel who had recent close contact with the player in the men’s team building will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines. These will include initially the full men’s team squad, coaching staff and a number of backroom staff.
“It is expected that those who did not have close contact with Callum will return to work in the coming days. In the meantime, the men’s team building, one of several separate buildings at our training ground, will remain closed. The rest of our training facility, Stamford Bridge and our other facilities are operating as normal.
“Callum displayed symptoms similar to a mild cold on Monday morning and has not been at the training ground since then as a precaution. However, his test came in positive this evening and he will undergo a period of self-isolation. Despite testing positive for the virus, Callum is doing well and looking forward to returning to the training ground as soon as it is possible.
“We will continue to adhere to Government and Public Health Guidelines with regard to our facilities and staff and will be discussing next steps with regards to upcoming fixtures with the Premier League on Friday morning. We will provide further updates as necessary via the club’s website.
We wish Callum a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming him back to the club soon.”