An individual who has been authorized to access the USTA National Tennis Center, where the Western and Southern and US Opens will be contested starting on Saturday, has tested positive for the coronavirus. The individual, who is asymptomatic, has been advised to self-isolate for a period of at least 10 days.
The USTA did not divulge the identity of the person who tested positive or his or her role at the tournament. This is the first positive test recorded among the 1,400 administered thus far to Tier 1 individuals who will work or compete in the biosecure bubble created at the NTC by the USTA.
“The USTA has worked with the ATP Tour and WTA Tour to create a controlled environment for the 2020 Western & Southern Open and US Open,” the USTA said in a statement issued on Tuesday. “The USTA, together with its medical advisors and infectious disease specialists from the Mount Sinai Health System, confirmed a positive test result for an individual.”
The USTA has initiated contact tracing in order to discover how the individual contracted the coronavirus and to attempt to determine if the person has infected others.
The protocols for the US Open were created by the USTA Medical Advisory Group with input from local and state officials who signed off in June on the tennis organization’s plans to stage the two-tournament event at the home of the US Open. That same group will be monitoring the event as a growing cohort of players assemble at the NTC and at specially designated hotels reserved exclusively for the use of the players and their entourages.
Both tournaments will be played without fans in attendance at the sprawling 46-acre site, most of which has been rearranged into an environment in which players and their support teams can spend large periods of time on-site with adequate social distancing as they practice, play, train, eat and relax.
Every individual who has been granted access to the site, including officials, broadcasters, catering personnel and the players and their entourages must submit to a USTA-approved COVID-19 test on site at least two days before first entering the grounds. They are all subsequently subject to periodic testing as the three-week-plus event unspools.
The Western and Southern Open begins on Saturday, with the US Open to start on Aug. 31, ending on Sept. 13.