The Premier League have revealed a season-high in terms of positive COVID-19 test results, as 40 cases were revealed in the latest weekly testing period.
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In the first week of Premier League players and staff being tested twice a week during the 2020-21 season (previously they were tested once per week), there were 28 positive results out of 1,311 tests between December 28-31, while 12 new positives results came from 984 tests taken from January 1-3.
The Premier League released a statement last week saying they will continue as planned and have ‘full confidence’ in its COVID-19 protocols despite ‘low numbers of positive tests across the overwhelming majority of clubs.’ Since then, England has announced it will enter into a new lockdown as COVID-19 cases spiral out of control due to the new strain.
Three games games were postponed in December due to COVID-19 outbreaks at Premier League clubs Newcastle United, Manchester City and Fulham, while Sheffield United also revealed a significant outbreak in their squad. Manchester City’s trip to Everton was postponed on December 28, and City closed their training ground to players and staff to try and stop the outbreak. On Christmas Day it was announced that Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker tested positive, along with two staff members, while City have had further positive results since. Fulham have since had games against Tottenham and Burnley postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak in their squad.
Below is the statement in full from the Premier League:
The Premier League is now testing players and club staff twice per week and can today confirm that between Monday 28 December and Thursday 31 December, 1,311 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, there were 28 new positive tests.
Between Friday 1 January and Sunday 3 January, 984 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19 and of these, there were 12 new positives. During this time period, three fixtures were postponed following an increased number of positive tests at two clubs. These matches will be rearranged as soon as possible.
With low numbers of positive tests across the overwhelming majority of clubs, the League continues to have confidence in its COVID-19 protocols, fully backed by the Government, to enable fixtures to be played as scheduled.
Players or club staff who have tested positive will self-isolate for a period of 10 days. The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency. No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League and results will be made public after each round of testing.