The coach of Arsenal Football Club — one of the most popular soccer teams in the English Premier League — tested positive for coronavirus this week.
Coach Mikel Arteta was diagnosed with COVID-19 late Thursday night, prompting Arsenal’s full first-team squad, coaching staff and other personnel to immediately go into self-isolation for 14 days, according to a statement released by the franchise.
As of now, the 37-year-old coach is remaining optimistic and is expected to make a full recovery.
“This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly,” Arteta said in the team’s statement. “I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”
According to the Guardian, Arsenal believes the number of people who may be asked to self-quarantine could be as high as 100, depending on who had recent contact with Arteta.
“The health of our people and the wider public is our priority and that is where our focus is,” said Arsenal’s managing director, Vinai Venkatesham.
“Our thoughts are with Mikel who is disappointed but in good spirits,” he continued. “We are in active dialogue with all the relevant people to manage this situation appropriately, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows.”
Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC/Getty Mikel Arteta
As the Guardian reports, the team’s facilities will now undergo a deep clean. Arsenal is based out of Islington, located in London, England.
“Mikel and the full first-team squad, players and staff, will be fully supported, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows,” said Arsenal’s Head of Football, Raul Sanllehi. “Obviously Mikel’s full recovery is the priority now for us all.”
The news comes just days after Juventus Football Club star Daniele Rugani was diagnosed with coronavirus. Rugani was the first player in the country’s top soccer division to test positive.
Julian Finney/Getty Arsenal Football Club
According to the New York Times, more than 137,000 people around the world have been sickened by the virus as of Friday afternoon, March 13. At least 5,073 people have died from exposure to the virus, which affects the respiratory system.
Older people and those with heart or lung disease are at higher risk of developing serious symptoms from the virus, the newspaper notes.