As Tennis Returns After 5 Months, Female Player Tests COVID Positive At Italy Meet

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Palermo: A female tennis player who was due to play in the WTA Palermo Open tested positive for coronavirus and has withdrawn. The tournament – which is the first professional event for men or women since the sport had been put on hold for coronavirus outbreak in early March — will however go on, organizers announced on Saturday.

The WTA said in a statement that the player is asymptomatic and will remain in isolation “until cleared by a physician” as per established protocols.

“In addition, all those who may have been in close contact with the individual are undergoing testing per WTA protocols,” the women’s Tour added. “The 31st Palermo Ladies Open will continue as planned.”

The local organizers in Italy didn’t name the player, but informed that she was admitted to a national health facility designated for asymptomatic patients with COVID-19.

“The efficiency of the protocols and the related tests allowed us to intercept a positive case,” said Dr Antonio Cascio, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Palermo who is the tournament’s anti-virus coordinator. “The player never left her hotel room while awaiting the results of the exams.”

All players participating in the tournament are staying in the same hotel.

Organizers had announced on Friday that more than 400 coronavirus tests were carried out on players and staff members, and all of them were negative.

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