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NM United staff member tests positive for COVID

A New Mexico United staff member, though not a player or on-field coach or trainer, has tested positive for COVID-19.

It should not affect the team’s upcoming Saturday match at El Paso.

The positive test showed up in testing data made available by the state and reviewed by the Journal, leading to an inquiry about who tested positive and whether the team’s season would be impacted. The USL Championship requires teams this season to have a list of “covered persons” that generally include the players and coaching and support staff who travel for matches and are in close contact with the team for practices and trainings.

“This individual has had no contact with any ‘covered persons’ involved in training, player/technical staff operations, or team travel,” United said in an email in response to the Journal’s question. “All individuals who have been in contact with this person were immediately tested for COVID-19, and have been instructed to remain under quarantine, pending the results of those tests. The individual in question has exhibited no symptoms of COVID-19.”

No United player or coaching/training staff member has tested positive all season, a team official has said, and the USL has required multiple tests per week for its teams.

United, with a record of 6-2-2, leads Group C of the USL Championship this season despite being the only team in the 35-team league not allowed to play home matches due to the state’s public health order.

While New Mexico still has a 14-day quarantine in place for any person traveling into the state — such as United has done after each of its out-of-state matches all season — the team has applied, with the consent of the Governor’s Office, the rule’s medical exemption as a way to continue practicing between out of state trips. Team owner Peter Trevisani has said United is a unique private business that deems it a medical necessity for some of its employees to train between matches, otherwise, as professional athletes, they would be putting themselves at risk when playing matches.

As a result of the COVID positive test, the team will postpone for a later time the “Art & Sport Night” event that was scheduled from 4-7 p.m. on Friday at the team store on Central Ave.

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