A number of Collingwood staff members and players have been isolated and tested to date.
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire told Fox Footy: “[The staff member] did the right thing, did the two week isolation, came down with the coronavirus and had no contact with anyone at the club.”
The Magpies said the club had followed government protocols.
“In accordance with government protocols, the staff member has been in isolation since returning to Australia. He is recovering at home and being monitored by the Department of Health and Human Services,” a Magpies statement read.
“Due to quarantine requirements, the staff member has at no point been in any contact with players or staff members at Collingwood since returning and has therefore presented no transmission risk to the club. The staff member will not return to the Holden Centre until medically cleared to do so.”
The season will shut down for a period should a player or staff member who has been at the club test positive. The league has said it will shut down for a minimum of 30 days should that be the case.
Magpies president Eddie McGuire said the infected official had not “even been near” the club since he had returned from overseas.
“From a Collingwood point of view, we hope our staff member, of course, recovers quickly but that is how important it is to listen to what is going on,” he said on Fox Footy.
“My understanding is … that there have been charges laid and fines of $20,000 today for people who didn’t do that and may have infected the general population, not the football world. But is is actually drawing the line … people doing the wrong thing, thinking they’re better or beyond the situation or can thumb their nose to what is going on – you can’t.
“Listen to what the government is saying, get inside the protocols and, hopefully, we will be OK.
“But the news from inside Collingwood, while disappointing for one member of our staff, it is wonderful that that person did the right thing by the community and particularly our club and football in general.
“Had that staff member at Collingwood had contact with the Collingwood players, then we would be finished for 30 days. The competition would be finished.”
Magpies skipper Scott Pendlebury returned a negative coronavirus test through the week.
Essendon chief executive Xavier Campbell said on Saturday that multiple Bombers players had been tested for COVID-19 in the lead up to round one.
He said anyone that had shown symptoms had been tested.
“There was a handful, clearly none of them have tested positive,” he said on SEN.
“Where symptoms were even remotely within the parameters of what people were thinking would be for the virus [they went and saw a doctor]. People are being clearly cautious but, certainly for us, we haven’t had anyone [test positive].”
More to come
Jon Pierik is cricket writer for The Age. He also covers AFL and has won awards for his cricket and basketball writing.
Jake Niall is a Walkley award-winning sports journalist and chief AFL writer for The Age.