'What does this mean': Confusion as AFL staffer tests positive for virus

The AFL has confirmed that a Collingwood staff member has tested positive for COVID-19 after being informed by the footy club on Saturday.

Collingwood made the AFL aware of the situation on Saturday and released a club statement to stress that the staff member in question had not been in contact with anyone from the club.

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The Magpies revealed that the individual in question went into a 14-day self-isolation period after returning from a trip overseas.

The staffer’s test for COVID-19 came back positive and as such they will not be returning to the club until given medical approval to do so.

"He is recovering at home and being monitored by the Department of Health and Human Services," the club statement said.

"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."

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire spoke on Fox Footy to insist that the staff member had done the right thing.

"A staff member in isolation, did the right thing, did the two-week isolation and has come down with coronavirus. Has had no contact with anyone at the club,” McGuire told Fox Footy.

Plenty of fans reacted with confusion to the news out of Collingwood, with many wondering whether the season will be suspended for 30 days.

However, the fact that the staffer had been in isolation and away from anyone associated with the footy club since returning from overseas, leads many AFL supporters to believe the season should go ahead as planned.

Collingwood had a coronavirus scare earlier in the week when captain Scott Pendlebury was tested for the virus after displaying flu-like symptoms.

He was later cleared of the virus and played in the Pies' thumping round one victory over the Western Bulldogs.

AFL boss McLachlan stressed earlier in the week that the competition would be suspended for 30 days if and when any player tests positive for COVID-19.

Bulldogs coach baffled by virus inconsistencies

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge questioned the AFL's decision to play under compromised conditions after his side's opening-round loss to Collingwood.

The league delivered new protocols this week amid the coronavirus crisis, ordering players to avoid unnecessary contact.

They were advised to cease sharing water bottles, hugging and shaking hands.

A leading doctor blasted the AFL after players did all three in Thursday night's season opener.

The AFL were already under fire for going ahead with the start of their season on Thursday night amid the crisis, with many believing it’s a bad look when the rest of society is under strict measures to stop the spread of the virus.

So it was particularly grating when Richmond and Carlton players were seen shaking hands and sharing water bottles during the game at the MCG - two massive no-no’s amid the crisis.

Now the 'high-five' has also been outlawed despite far more contact occurring during the natural course of a match.

Seen here, Collingwood players substitute high-fives with forearm bumps.
Player high-fives were replaced with other forms of celebration on Friday night. Pic: Getty

The Magpies celebrated one of their goals during a 52-point at Marvel Stadium on Friday night with a 'foot shake' and social distancing measures put in place meant they did not link arms during their team song.

While Beveridge showed his support for the AFL competition continuing, he found the contradictions around many of the coronavirus safety protocols baffling.

"You can't have your cake and eat it too," Beveridge said.

"If we're playing, we're playing. We can't then be saying don't sing the song with your arms around each other.

"If you're playing, the assumption is that everyone who is playing hasn't got the virus. That's the assumption.

"If you're bumping each other, tackling each other, flying against each other and hitting each other, I reckon that's a lot worse than singing a song with your arms around each other.

"All that peripheral stuff, if we can't do that, then why are we playing the game?"

Beveridge acknowledged there were positive social effects of playing football during the coronavirus crisis.

"Maybe we can bring a bit of brightness into peoples' lives when there's so many things that they've got to consider," he said.

With AAP