Rotherham United have been closely monitoring the development of the coronavirus outbreak or COVID-19 and have, using NHS and EFL advice, taken some extra precautionary measures to protect our players and those supporters they are likely to come into contact with.
As a club, we are taking positive steps to reduce the risk of our employees possibly being exposed to the virus, including the first team squad.
As has been the case at first team fixtures recently, the pre-match handshake will not take place and players have also been advised not to shake hands, pose for photos or sign autographs before and after games and training sessions at Roundwood.
Our commitment to our work in the community has been well-documented but it is with regret that the club announces that we will be suspending all player visits to venues where the risk of contracting or spreading the virus is higher, such as schools, hospitals, hospices and care homes.
A decision has also been taken to slightly amend the squad’s interaction with hospitality guests during the pre-match dressing room tour and post-match hospitality lounge presentations. These will continue to take place, but again, to reduce the possible risk of infection, we will be asking that no handshakes take place.
As people may be aware, we often welcome visitors to our training base at Roundwood, where we have also taken the decision to limit access. We will be temporarily suspending all external visits where practical and will also be reducing internal visits to those deemed necessary by the first team staff.
Furthermore, our Academy will be taking a number of measures to best care for the health of the players and staff associated with the youth setup.
The situation concerning COVID-19 is changing on a day-to-day basis and as a club, we will continue to monitor the situation and take on board advice from the Government, NHS and EFL.
We would like to reiterate that all of the above are measures taken as a precaution, both for our own employees and for those supporters who come into contact with our on and off-field staff.
The above decisions have not been taken lightly, and whilst we understand that some of the above information may disappoint our supporters, we would like to reiterate they are temporary measures to protect the well-being of people both inside and outside of the club.
Coronavirus is spread via droplets from the nose and mouth and can be transmitted on to the hands and passed on via a handshake.
Washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 and other illnesses such as food poisoning and flu.
For the most up to date guide on best practice when washing your hands, please click here.