General manager Ben Kensell is adamant Hibernian has done everything possible to try to deal with the coronavirus outbreak which has led to the postponement of two Premiership games.
Last weekend’s game in Ross County was called off just hours before kick-off after positive test results returned, while Saturday’s trip to Livingston was postponed after other cases at the in the last few days.
Kensell revealed that 15 players from the first team and the development team tested positive, as well as three staff.
When asked if he felt the club had done everything in their power to comply with Covid guidelines, the chief executive replied: “Absolutely. I made sure we were thorough in our investigation by reviewing the events and phoned NHS Lothian to make sure we did everything we needed to do.
“We have been informed as a club that we have followed the right advice in terms of moving two coaches, testing every day of the week. In many ways we’ve gone above and beyond, but it’s not something we should be proud of. It’s just something we should be doing as a professional club.
“We handled it as soon as possible and did what we needed to do to make sure there was no further spread. We believe we have now contained him in both the first team and the development team and we have closed HTC (the training ground). Everyone who is affected is self-isolating. “
Confirming the scale of the outbreak, Kensell said, “I won’t go into personal details, but we have eight players who gave positive PCR tests, plus seven more in our development team, so ultimately we have 15 players directly affected.
“Four other players are indirectly affected by close contact or their vaccination status. And we have a long injury list, which only gives us eight players over the age of 18 available. In addition, three staff members are affected.
Kensell has dismissed reports that some Hibs players were seen in violation of regulations by not wearing masks at the team’s hotel last weekend.
He said: “I am confident in our processes and after investigating the complaints, I trust our staff and our players to do what is necessary to mitigate the spread of Covid.
“They are aware of their responsibilities. I don’t want to focus on a comment from someone who is trying to create problems. I’m not interested in tabloid speculation questions. I am only interested in the well-being of our staff, our players and our fans.
Kensell expects striker Kevin Nisbet to join the Scottish squad, while competent authorities are currently in discussions to determine whether Martin Boyle – one of those isolating – can join the Australian squad. .