05:59PM, Thursday 02 July 2020
Slough Town’s players and management team were tested for COVID-19 in the car park of Arbour Park on Wednesday evening ahead of their return to training this weekend.
Wednesday was the first round of testing for the players, who are due to undergo further tests on the following two Tuesdays ahead of their home clash with Dartford on July 18/19.
Arriving in dedicated time slots the players were tested through the window of their cars by a registered nurse, who also happens to be a Rebels fan, while club physio Alex Moore watched on to learn the process.
The tests are now being processed by the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford and the results should be known within 24-48 hours.
Jon Underwood and Neil Baker are set to hold six training sessions ahead of their clash with Dartford, which could still be picked up for BT Sport coverage.
The club was set to hear today (Thursday) if that was the case but Underwood expects the game to be played on Saturday, July 18, with a 3pm kick-off.
“We did the tests in the car park, a bit like these drive-in test centres,” said Underwood. “They were done in the car and we had a registered nurse down who’s a supporter of the club and she did them.
“They can be self administered but we wanted that guidance from her and Alex Moore, our physio was there to learn how to do it as well.
“It was all socially distant as you’d expect and it took a couple of hours to do it as a group. I think there were 25 of us that were tested, 20 players and five staff. Basically the people who will be in the changing room area and who will be coming in to train for the Dartford game.
“I then dropped the tests into the Royal Surrey Hospital, just to speed the process up because that’s where they’re being processed.
“We’re hoping to hear back today (Thursday). They said it could take 24-48 hours.
“Fingers crossed there are no nasty surprises and everyone tests negative and we can all start on Saturday morning.”
A positive test would hamper a player's chances of being involved in the game against Dartford in two weeks time. Underwood said his fingers were crossed that there are no ‘nasty surprises’ but any player testing positive for the virus would be forced to self isolate for seven days and would then need two negative tests before they could return to the squad.
It’s not compulsory for clubs to publish the test results but Underwood expects the Rebels will, even if that’s just an update on social media from one of the management team.
“No one is showing any symptoms,” said Underwood. “I know that doesn’t mean they haven’t got it but hopefully there are no surprises there. They could have another test in a week and then 10 days, but from a fitness point of view it would hamper them because they wouldn’t be involved in the training. It would probably hamper their chances of starting, but if they then had negative tests a week and 10 days later they could return to the group and be part of the game.
“We tested yesterday and we’ll test again on Tuesday and the following Tuesday before the Dartford game.
“It’s (revealing the test results) not compulsory but I’m pretty sure we will.
"Even if it’s just myself or Bakes saying it on social media. We’re not the sort of people to keep quiet about it and there’s no reason to hold that information back. If someone has it they have it and my personal view is that we’ll let that be known.”
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