The coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on, and it’s now arrived at Cobham as well, where Chelsea have shut down the Academy operations for this week after a “significant” outbreak. While this news has not been confirmed by official sources, The Athletic reports that twenty (20!) positive cases were identified — Chelsea test “widely” in the Academy as well — prompting the shutdown for this week and the associated quarantines for the next 7-10 days for those individually affected as per government protocols.
Because of COVID guidelines, there’s been less mingling between the senior and youth teams this season — as alluded to by both Frank Lampard and U23 coach Andy Myers recently — and those five youth players who had been training with the first-team ahead of yesterday’s FA Cup match had been doing so for the past week, if not longer. So, in theory, this shutdown will not affect the first-team operations, and there should be no spread across the proverbial street between the bubbles.
Chelsea’s U23 and U18 matches this week will be postponed or canceled. Operations at the U16 and under level had already been suspended due to the latest national lockdown orders.