Sport AFL Key Bomber’s COVID scare rules him out of finals clash

Key Bomber’s COVID scare rules him out of finals clash

Essendon's Nick Hind has a good reason to scream after being denied entry to Tasmania because he picked up lunch at a mall a COVID case is known to have visited. Photo: Getty
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

A trip to the supermarket for a takeaway lunch has cost Essendon defender Nick Hind the chance to play in Sunday’s AFL elimination final against the Western Bulldogs in Tasmania.

Hind visited a supermarket at the Altona Gate Shopping Centre last Saturday.

He received notification from Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday afternoon that the supermarket has now been identified as a Tier 2 COVID-19 exposure site.

Tasmania says ‘no way’

Hind underwent an immediate COVID test and was in quarantine until he received his test negative result on Friday morning.

A condition of entry into Tasmania stipulates that any member of the travelling party must not have visited a Tier 1 or Tier 2 exposure site in the 14-day period prior to arrival.

It means Hind will be unable to enter Tasmania for Sunday’s game in Launceston.

He has been replaced in Essendon’s side by Marty Gleeson, while Jye Caldwell returns for his first AFL match since suffering a serious hamstring injury in round two.

“This is obviously an unfortunate situation for Nick to be in,” Essendon football manager Josh Mahoney said.

“He briefly visited a supermarket for a takeaway lunch and has followed the correct procedures, including QR codes while cooperating fully with the AFL and DHHS guidelines.

“The club has been in constant dialogue with the Tasmanian Government throughout this period and respect their health and safety protocols, which are designed to protect their local community.

“Given Nick’s negative test result, the club will work with the AFL and the relevant state bodies on his availability for future finals should we continue to qualify.”

Hind played all 22 games for the Bombers during the regular season, and his withdrawal is an untimely blow.

The Bulldogs, who slipped to fifth spot on the back of three straight losses, will go into the match unchanged.