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Seven new COVID-19 cases identified as Serie A teams return to individual training

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Pre-season testing

Juventus Training Session Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Serie A teams were given the green light this week to return to (individual) training, which at least four teams have already taken advantage of: Juventus (including Paulo Dybala, who’s finally recovered from COVID-19), Fiorentina, Lazio, and Torino. Others are expected to follow soon, with the country’s sporting minister hoping to be able to approve group training in a couple weeks as well.

The league has yet to develop precise medical protocols for that second step, but they’re following the Bundesliga model for now. And that includes testing all players and staff before they return to training the first time.

It’s during that step that seven new cases of COVID-19 have been identified, including a player at Torino and three players at Fiorentina. Three Fiorentina staff have also tested positive. None have been named specifically, which is one difference from the usual sorts of “injuries” players sustain in football.

As in Germany, all seven, none of whom were showing symptoms, will now enter a two-week quarantine, while the rest can carry on — at least until the next round of testing, which should be by the end of this week.

This is the new reality — and will be the case until a vaccine is developed and disseminated some 12-18 months down the road.