Raiders players are nervously awaiting COVID test results after being deemed close contacts to a staff member in the club's football department who tested positive to the virus this week.
The untimely COVID positive looks set to shut down pre-season training until the New Year, after the majority of players and coaching staff were forced into lockdown until midnight on Monday - a day before the final scheduled training session of 2021.
Should another member at the club return a positive COVID test, close contacts will be forced to isolate until at least next Wednesday.
The infected staff member was last at the club on Monday and returned a positive test result late on Wednesday.
Players and coaches were tested Wednesday night and Thursday morning. The club was preparing for further positive cases despite the first batch of test results coming back negative on Thursday afternoon.
Most of the football department gathered at the club for training again on Wednesday, prior to the positive test result. The majority of Raiders employees are vaccinated, including Josh Papalii, last month who declared he would submit to the jab.
Just two players remain unvaccinated.
Close contacts in the ACT are required to be tested immediately and isolate for seven days after being in contact with a positive COVID case.
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A second test is required six days into isolation, and a negative result grants the close contact permission to leave lockdown before a precautionary third test is taken a week later.
The COVID case has delayed local junior Nick Cotric's return to the club after signing on a three-year deal following an early release from his Canterbury contract.
He was due at Raiders headquarters in Braddon on Thursday and set to train on Friday but will now be likely kept apart from the squad until the New Year.
Canberra's COVID scare comes a day after Newcastle Knights development player Chris Vea'lia tested positive to the virus.
Earlier this week two positive cases were recorded from an emerging NSW Blues camp over the weekend, which forced star duo Tom Trbojevic and Nathan Cleary into isolation.
Just last week the Canberra Capitals were forced into a week-long isolation after a squad member tested positive to the virus, forcing the postponement of last weekend's home match against the Sydney-Uni Flames. Capitals players and staff came out of isolation this week after returning negative test results.
Two weeks ago the ACT Meteors were also forced into isolation after a development player tested positive for the virus.
That led to the postponement of their season-opening Women's National Cricket League match against Victoria.
"All players and football staff have been directed to undertake a COVID test and isolate," a Raiders statement said on Thursday morning.
"The club is following NRL protocols and is awaiting further direction from ACT Health. The club will provide any further updates once this process has been finalised."
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