The Premier League is reassuring fans that the season will continue after its latest round of COVID-19 testing produced 40 positive cases among players and staff in the past week. This is the highest amount of Premier League COVID cases reported since the start of the pandemic, breaking the previous week’s record of 18 positive cases.
Despite 58 positive cases since Dec. 21, the EPL said in a statement that the season will go ahead as scheduled.
Breaking: The Premier League have recorded 40 positive COVID-19 tests this week, the most since the system was brought in. pic.twitter.com/2jbU46SaWl— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 5, 2021
“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," the statement reads. "Players or club staff who have tested positive will self-isolate for a period of 10 days.”
The EPL is now testing players and staff twice per week as a precaution.
COVID-19 outbreaks among Fulham and Manchester City’s ranks have seen three games postponed in the past week. The last time Fulham played was on Dec. 26 in a 0-0 draw with Southampton. Since then, the club’s fixtures against Tottenham and Burnley have been postponed.
Manchester City had to call off its game against Everton on Dec. 28 due to an outbreak at the club. City was able to play on Jan. 3 against Chelsea despite having six first-team players isolating after testing positive.
The latest wave of Premier League COVID cases comes as the United Kingdom enters another lockdown. The U.K. reported a record high 58,784 new cases on Monday as a new COVID variant spreads across the county.