McLaren: 1 staffer has coronavirus, 14 others in quarantine

Sports

Technicians work around equipment and car parts in the The McLaren team pit at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne, Thursday, March 12, 2020. McLaren says it has withdrawn from the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne after a team member tested positive for the coronavirus. (Michael Dodge/AAP Image via AP)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — One positive case of coronavirus for a McLaren staffer was the catalyst for the cancellation of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix.

Now the British-based team has another 14 team members in quarantine.

McLaren issued a statement Friday saying the other team members had also been placed in quarantine in a Melbourne hotel for 14 days in accordance with local health guidelines.

“These are individuals who had been in close contact with the team member who tested positive for coronavirus,” the team said. “These individuals are being supported by senior team personnel, who will stay behind with them during the quarantine period.”

McLaren said team members who have cleared will return to the F1 paddock and pack down before returning to England, but won’t be allowed back at headquarters at Woking for a while.

“On arrival in the UK, no race team member will return to the McLaren Technology Centre for a period of 14 days, as a precautionary measure.”

McLaren placed fourth in the F1 championship last season, with Carlos Sainz having a podium finish in Brazil.

Members of the U.S.-backed Haas team had also been in isolation but they were cleared after tests, with Australian GP organizers saying state health authorities had confirmed only one positive case in eight F1-related tests conducted so far.

There have been more than 128,000 cases and 4,700 deaths globally since the virus outbreak started in China late last year.

Most people quickly recover from the virus after experiencing only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks.

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