Coronavirus outbreak at UK charity soccer game leads to dozens of cases, hundreds asked to self-isolate

Up to 300 soccer fans who attended the match are being told to quarantine

After more than two dozen coronavirus cases were reported at a charity soccer match in England, hundreds have been asked to self-isolate.

According to a press release, up to 300 soccer fans who attended a match on August 30 at the Burnside working men's club on the border of Sunderland and Durham are being told to quarantine from the date of the event after 28 people who attended tested positive for COVID-19.

"Contact tracing is being carried out with anyone deemed to be a close contact of someone who has tested positive, however, we are also asking anyone who was at the charity event on Sunday 30 August to immediately self-isolate up until midnight on the 13th, unless they're contacted individually by NHS Test and Trace with further advice," Amanda Healy, director of public health for Durham, said in the release.

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"We are also asking people in the community who have already had a test which has come back negative to self-isolate for 14 days from the 30th because it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear. This is essential if we are to stop the spread of the virus in this community as quickly as possible," Healey also stated in the release.

Durham County Council said it is also working with Public Health England and Sunderland City Council to help control the potential spread of the virus.

According to a press release, up to 300 soccer fans who attended a match on August 30 at the Burnside working men's club on the border of Sunderland and Durham are being told to quarantine from the date of the event after 28 people who attended tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a press release, up to 300 soccer fans who attended a match on August 30 at the Burnside working men's club on the border of Sunderland and Durham are being told to quarantine from the date of the event after 28 people who attended tested positive for COVID-19. (iStock)

“It's really important that everyone acts responsibly and follows the public health guidance when outside of the home if we are to keep our community safe," Gillian Gibson, Sunderland's director of public health, said in a statement. "The best way to help protect our families, friends and [neighbors] is to follow the basic rules of Hands, Face, Space — wash your hands for 20 seconds often, cover your face in public, stay 2 meters [6 feet] apart and stay at home if you have symptoms or are waiting for COVID test results."

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"It was a [soccer] match planned with the aim to raise money for an incredible charity group that is close to the club’s heart. I would hope people understand that if we knew at the time what we know now, this [soccer] match would never have gone ahead," the Burnside Men's soccer club's Facebook team page stated in part, according to a report in the Sunderland Echo.

The social media page reportedly said it is working with Public Health England to help with contact tracing and also said proper safety guidelines were not fully followed during the charity event.

“I will admit the precautions set in place were not strict enough. Going forward this will change to ensure any matches played, home or away, will be played in the safest possible way, to make sure something like this never happens again," reads the club's team page, according to the news outlet. “I’d like to reiterate that this event would never have taken place if we had known back then, what we know now, and the day was planned with the best intentions. Again, I personally wish all those affected a quick recovery."

The club was closed down for 72 hours, according to the Sunderland Echo.

The Durham County Council is urging anyone with problems self-isolating to go to its website or to the Sunderland County Council website for further information.