The Premier League released yesterday the results of the third round of league-wide COVID-19 testing, which was conducted on Monday and Tuesday. Over 1000 tests were administered in this round, a new record, with four (4) tests coming back positive, spread across three teams.
Since the league is only releasing aggregate and anonymous numbers as per data protection and privacy laws, it’s unclear whether these four positive tests are players or staff, or if they are new or repeat test subjects — i.e. did any of the 6 individuals identified in the first round of testing participate in the third round after sitting out for the mandated 7 days of isolation?
As per Sky’s report, the Premier League will be conducting contact-tracing for the new cases as well, which could shed some light on not only the transmission vector but whether any additional players or staff would need to go into isolation — such as the two at Watford had done last week.
The total number of “COVID-injured” is no greater than 14 at the moment: 12 positive tests, plus 2 isolating because of close contact with other positive cases. All affected individuals are asymptomatic, as far as we know.
So far, these numbers are seen as giving the league “cautious optimism” for the success of Project Restart, which is set to move into Phase Two today with the start of contact training.
The Premier League can today confirm that on Monday 25 May and Tuesday 26 May, 1008 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, four have tested positive from three clubs.
Players or club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate for a period of seven days.
Previously, between 19-22 May, 996 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19, of which two tested positive from two clubs. Some 748 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19 on 17-18 May, with six testing positive from three clubs.
For the fourth round of testing, the number of tests available to each club will be increased from 50 to 60.
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.