Two Aberdeen footballers have tested positive for coronavirus.
The first-team players received positive results for Covid-19 during routine testing at the club.
The players have been ordered to self-isolate after contracting the virus, while the rest of manager Derek McInnes’ squad was stood down from training on Thursday.
Scottish football’s Joint Response Group – comprised of officials from the Scottish Professional Football League and Scottish Football Association – said two players received preliminary positive tests for Covid-19.
One player has been confirmed as a positive case by a follow-up NHS test, while the second player is awaiting the result of his follow-up test.
The Scottish Government has instructed that both players are required to self-isolate, along with a further six players found to have been in close proximity to the player who initially tested positive.
That player is required to self-isolate for 10 days from Wednesday (August 5), with the remaining seven players required to self-isolate for 14 days, the Joint Response Group said in a statement.
In a statement, the Pittodrie club said both players who tested positive for Covid-19 are asymptomatic.
Rod Petrie, Joint Response Group Chair: “As we have said from the outset, public health is the absolute priority of the Joint Response Group. As soon as we were informed of the positive tests, the information was immediately referred to the Scottish Government via our Chief Medical Consultant.
“Given the well-documented outbreak in Aberdeen it was imperative that we took the swiftest action to enable the local Health Protection Team to respond immediately.
“The Scottish Government’s instruction to the JRG was clear and unequivocal, as was our support of that instruction. Given the circumstances, we issue the strongest possible message to all clubs to ensure compliance with the twice-weekly testing procedure and Scottish football’s Return to Playing Protocol. It is imperative that everyone adheres to Scottish Government public health advice.”
Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack described the positive test results as “a bitter blow”.
“We now have to focus on preparing for Saturday’s game under extremely difficult circumstances.”Dave Cormack, Aberdeen Chairman
He said: “The club will be carrying out a full investigation but, as an immediate first step, we have reinforced the Club’s Covid-19 protocols and the governing bodies’ guidance with every player and member of staff and will continue to regularly educate and remind everyone of what is, and what is not, acceptable in the current climate.
“We now have to focus on preparing for Saturday’s game under extremely difficult circumstances.”
The positive tests at Pittodrie come a day after lockdown measures were reintroduced in the Aberdeen City council area following a spike in Covid-19 cases.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told STV News earlier on Thursday the development is a “wake-up call” that the virus is still present and “dangerous” in Scotland.
Indoor and outdoor hospitality venues, including pubs, restaurants and cafes, have been ordered to close in Aberdeen.
The five-mile travel restriction has resumed for leisure and recreation, while residents have been told not to enter other people’s houses.
A total of 79 cases have now been associated with the outbreak in Aberdeen, having been 54 on Wednesday and 27 at the start of the week.