James Stewart's manager Peter Jess engages lawyer as they seek early quarantine release following negative tests

James Stewart's manager Peter Jess engages lawyer as they seek early quarantine release following negative tests

James Stewart’s manager has reportedly engaged a lawyer to help free his client from quarantine following another negative coronavirus test.

Stewart was deemed to be Conor McKenna’s only close contact case after the pair were wrestling partners on Friday, the day before McKenna returned a positive COVID-19 test.

However they have both returned two negative tests since, and The Age reports Stewart’s manager Peter Jess is pushing for his client to be released from isolation early due to the doubts emerging over the tests’ accuracy.


"Basically what I'm putting to the AFL is that where someone's livelihood is about to be taken away from them, we must have an ability to have an independent testing regime that is more sophisticated than the current levels they are doing," Jess told The Age.

Bombers coach John Worsfold yesterday admitted his doubts over whether the 24-year-old actually had the virus, while Victoria’s chief medical staff continue to treat McKenna as a positive case despite the negative returns.

"It's a positive test, it's being treated as a confirmed positive,” Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said.

“There are lots of people who test positive one day, they're at the very tail-end of their infection and then they test negative the following day.

“If you get two negative tests 24 hours apart, you as a case are clear. But your close contacts, (from) when you are potentially infectious, they have to go through their 14-day quarantine period.

Conor McKenna of the Bombers in action during the Essendon Bombers training session.

“That will apply to Conor McKenna's contacts," Sutton said.

Club great Tim Watson addressed the issue on radio on Thursday morning, affirming the club’s desire to have the players released from quarantine early if possible.

“It’s important to remember this, Conor tested positive on Friday and Saturday, now since then they’ve all been negative tests,” Watson said.

“He’s had two tests that have come back negative.

“At this stage everybody is still working with the DHHS and I guess Essendon will be trying to negotiate whether they can be released from their 14 days of isolation but that’s yet to be determined."

Essendon come up against Carlton on Saturday evening for their round four clash, after the unfolding situation saw their round three game against Melbourne postponed last weekend.