Schalke game vs. Hertha to go ahead despite third COVID-19 case


A man passes graffiti on wall with the logo of Bundesliga soccer club FC Schalke 04 and coal miners in the light at the end of the tunnel in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Monday, March 1, 2021. (Martin Meissner / AP)

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany — Schalke’s game against Hertha Berlin on Wednesday will go ahead despite a third player testing positive for the coronavirus, the Bundesliga club said Wednesday.

The third case was found in samples taken Tuesday. Four more Schalke players have been ordered to isolate as close contacts, further weakening a squad already diminished by injuries.

Schalke said the local health authority in the city of Gelsenkirchen gave the go-ahead to hosting Hertha despite the cases. Schalke is already assured of relegation, but Hertha can take a big step toward Bundesliga survival with a victory.

The most recent virus case was the first to emerge since Bundesliga clubs entered what the league calls “quarantine training camps” with players and staff living in a closed environment in hotels, leaving only for training and games. The aim is to reduce the risk of the virus spreading and ensure the season can finish on time before players have to leave for the European Championship.

Schalke said it imposed “strict mask and distancing rules” on its players and that they had to eat meals in their hotel rooms.

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