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Brian Lohan will face Davy Fitzgerald again this weekend. Photograph by John Kelly

Clare board backs Brian Lohan in Covid contacts row

CLARE GAA has backed senior hurling manager Brian Lohan over his comments about how two Clare players were deemed close contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases.
The issue arose after two Wexford hurlers that played against Clare were confirmed as having contracted the virus, and two Clare players were later deemed close contacts.
Lohan’s queries over how they were identified prompted an angry response from Wexford.
The county board this Tuesday stated, “The HSE designated the Clare players as close contacts which is their function and was never disputed. The issue is how they were identified as close contacts.
“The HSE in the Mid-West region were informed by the contact tracing team in relation to the decision that was made. Brian Lohan as manager of the Clare Team contacted the HSE locally when he was informed of the identification of two senior hurlers as close contacts.
“The HSE informed Brian Lohan that two players were identified on foot of discussions between the contact tracing team of the HSE and the Wexford players involved who were positive cases.
“The HSE did confirm that for one of the players, they were identified, not by name but were identified by the colour of their helmet.
“This has led to two players having to self-isolate and if this process continues without clear clarification regarding Close and Casual contact from Croke Park it will have ramifications for the season ahead for club and county games.
“Brian Lohan stands by his comments made last Sunday in relation to the incident and there remains much disappointment and frustration in our county in relation to why the Clare players were identified.
“We have already made representations to Croke Park on this player welfare issue, and we will be making further representation through the GPA. To conclude, Clare GAA stand fully by the comments issued by the Clare senior hurling manager.
The board then pointed out that on-field playing activity is not listed in the return to play guidelines for intercounty teams regarding close and casual contacts.
The following scenarios require careful planning and the implementation of strict control, the protocol dictates.
• Use of a Gym or other indoor training facility.
• Use of dressing rooms (including showers)
• Pre and Post match/training meals
• Meetings for tactical analysis or game preparation.
• Collectively travelling to and from games/training.
• Overnight accommodation

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