Conor McKenna tests positive for coronavirus, Essendon v Melbourne delayed, Gil McLachlan


Less than two weeks into the AFL’s return to action, the season has come under a cloud following a positive coronavirus test.

Essendon player Conor McKenna has been reported as the player to have tested positive with the Bombers set to take on the Melbourne Demons on Sunday afternoon.

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Essendon’s game against Melbourne was officially delayed following the news of McKenna’s positive test with the Herald Sun’s Mark Robinson reporting McKenna had trained with the Bombers on Saturday morning.

McKenna had tested negative five times before an irregular test result on Friday saw one more test taken which returned positive on Saturday. Questions were then raised over why he was allowed to train with the Bombers before receiving his results.

The fallout from the positive test will see the entire Bombers playing squad along with coaching staff and personnel put into quarantine after coming into close contact with McKenna.

“We’re announcing today that we are postponing the Essendon v Melbourne game tomorrow after receiving notification an Essendon player has tested positive for COVID-19. Conor McKenna was tested and has come back positive,” AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan announced during a press conference at the MCG.

“All players and staff have been asked to isolate. The AFL has taken the decision to postpone tomorrow’s match. We said we would make all decisions based on medical advice and our priority is the health and safety of our staff, players and the community.

“Other matches will proceed. All Essendon players and staff were tested last night and Conor McKenna was the only player who returned a positive test, despite being asymptomatic.

“The club will be closed and cleaned. We will test all players and staff in coming days, with advice from the health department. Our concern is with the player and we will provide support around him.

McKenna returned to Australian shores from Ireland over a month ago, but had long cleared quarantine since returning to Melbourne.

The AFL held a phone call with all clubs to discuss the ramifications following the return of a positive test.



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