Premier League has confirmed that Forty-two players and staff tested positive for Covid-19 in the past week – the most recorded in the league over a seven-day period. It is the highest number since 40 cases were reported in January.
A total of 3,805 tests were carried out between December 6 and 12, with 42 positive results recorded; the league will increase testing of first-team players and staff amid rise in national cases.
Brighton, Tottenham, Leicester, Manchester United, Aston Villa and Norwich have all confirmed cases. This has led Brighton v Tottenham fixture to be postponed last Sunday following a Covid-19 outbreak at Spurs.
Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard confirmed “a couple of staff members and a couple of players” have tested positive but insisted the “vast majority” were negative.
He said Tuesday’s game against Norwich is not in doubt and Canaries boss Dean Smith said one of his players was isolating but the rest of the squad had tested negative on Sunday.
At Brighton, head coach Graham Potter says there are “three or four” positive cases.
It is highly increasingly likely that Manchester United game against Brentford on the 14th of December will be postponed after the virus hit the Red Devil’s camp.
The Premier League wrote to all of its clubs last Thursday instructing them to reinstate Covid-19 emergency measures.
Top-flight clubs that had reached a vaccination rate of 85 per cent had been allowed to relax restrictions which were imposed in the summer, but those that had done so were told they must return to the stricter measures.
The league’s statement added: “The safety of everybody is a priority and the Premier League is taking all precautionary steps in light of the recent rise in Covid-19 cases across the country.”
“The league has reverted to its emergency measures and will increase the frequency of both lateral flow and PCR Covid-19 testing of players and staff.”
“The Premier League’s Covid-19 emergency measures, which are applicable to all clubs, include protocols such as wearing face coverings while indoors, observing social distancing and limiting treatment time. These are in addition to the more frequent testing.”
“We will continue to work closely with the government, local authorities and supporter groups, while being responsive to any future changes to national or local guidance.”