BOSTON (CBS) – After a weekend of uncertainty, the Patriots and Chiefs are on track to play Monday night. But for New England players and coaches, the road trip doesn’t come without risk of a potential coronavirus outbreak.
The teams were scheduled to play Sunday afternoon. But that changed when Patriots quarterback Cam Newton and one member of the Chiefs practice squad tested positive for coronavirus.
After all players from both teams returned negative tests on Sunday and Monday, the Patriots departed on two planes for the game. One plane contained players who had close contact with Newton.
WBZ-TV’s Dr. Mallika Marshall said it was not necessarily a surprise that no additional positive tests were reported, despite how involved in the organization Newton is at the quarterback position.
“When someone is exposed to the virus it can take several days, maybe 5-7 days or more, for a test to come back positive,” Marshall said. “If you were exposed to the virus let’s say on Friday, you could have a negative test on Saturday, on Sunday, on Monday or Tuesday, and maybe not turn positive until Wednesday or Thursday. So even though three days have elapsed and they’re still having negative tests, that doesn’t mean we’re not going to see some positive tests in the days to come.”
Marshall said there is still a possibility an outbreak could happen, despite the early good news.
“This is why when someone has become exposed to the virus, they’ve come in close contact with someone who is known to have COVID-19, that we tell them to quarantine,” said Marshall. “You’re supposed to stay away from other people for 14 days. So to have people who could have been in close quarters on planes and buses, in the training room and out on the field together, I think there are real concerns that we could potentially have an outbreak. I hope that doesn’t happen, and I hope the team is following the guidelines and listening to their team doctors. But as a fan, and a physician, I’m concerned.”
If no positive coronavirus cases develop on Monday, the teams are scheduled to play at 7:05 p.m. The game can be seen on WBZ-TV.