Premier League: Six positive coronavirus tests across three clubs

Some Premier League players return to training

There were six positive tests for coronavirus at three Premier League clubs on Sunday and Monday, while the first division is preparing to resume in June.

Nameless players or teams who have tested positive will now isolate themselves for seven days.

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A total of 748 players and employees from 19 clubs were tested. The remaining club did its tests on Tuesday, so it will be included in Saturday's results.

Squads are starting contactless training from Tuesday.

The Premier League has been suspended since March 13 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, with 92 games remaining.

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The league had previously identified on June 12 that games could resume, but now there is an expectation that this needs to be postponed.

"The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of the integrity and transparency of the competition," he said in a statement.

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"No specific details about clubs or individuals will be provided by the league and the results will be released in this way after each round of testing."

Clubs were allowed to test up to 40 employees and some did not use their full allocation, while some samples are yet to be processed.

At Monday's Project Restart meeting, English high-level clubs agreed to stage one of the protocols for returning to training.

In addition to training in small groups of no more than five, sessions should not last more than 75 minutes for each player. Social distance must be respected.

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Official protocols sent to players and coaches last week, and obtained by the BBC, revealed corner flags, balls, cones, poles and even playing surfaces that will be disinfected after each training session.

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The measures in progress in the additional guidelines include tests twice a week, in addition to a daily pre-training questionnaire and temperature verification.

Analyze

Dan Roan, BBC sports editor

While all coronavirus cases are, of course, a cause for concern, the Premier League will undoubtedly be relieved that the number of positive tests revealed on Tuesday is as low as six.

In a sense, that's six more. But if it had been significantly higher, it would have raised more serious questions about the clubs' return to training. So, this is an incentive for those who expect a resumption of the season next month.

Last weekend, the Office of National Statistics suggested that one in 400 people had coronaviruses outside hospitals and nursing homes, a rate of 0.25%.

Why the rate between players and / or employees of the 19 Premier League clubs tested is about 0.8% higher (so far) is unclear. In comparison, the Bundesliga recently registered 10 positive results in 1,742 tests. But care must be taken when drawing many conclusions from this first batch of tests.

With some players and officials voicing concerns, and half of the club's doctors feeling insufficiently consulted, there are still other obstacles, especially when it comes to reaching agreement on protocols for full contact training.

However, this is at least another small but important step towards "Restarting the Project".

Germany setting the precedent

Borussia Dortmund beat Schalke 4-0 with the return of football in Germany

The German Bundesliga became the first major European football league to restart after the coronavirus shutdown when resumed behind closed doors on the weekend.

The Bundesliga took almost five weeks from the start of non-contact training to matches. After Monday's announcement by the Premier League, that deadline would mean June 19 or 26 for a possible restart in England.

All teams from Germany's first division were quarantined, moving from a hotel to the training ground during the week before the restart.

On Monday, Premier League medical advisor Mark Gillett said discussions would take place in the coming weeks over whether clubs would have to isolate themselves in a hotel for 14 days before the game started again.

Testing & # 39; does not affect & # 39; the NHS

For the Premier League to complete the season, around 40,000 tests conducted privately may be required.

The tests are being carried out by the digital health company Prenetics.

Avi Lasarow, chief executive of Prenetics EMEA (Europe Middle East Africa), told BBC Sport that "categorically" none of the tests the company will carry out for the Premier League could have been used by the NHS.

"Of course, we don't stop or withdraw any tests that the NHS is doing," he said.

"All tests are from private sources, just like the other areas of the supply chain, so they are definitely not running away from the NHS.

"The government has an infrastructure capacity that was developed to increase the volume of mass testing. It is very clear that we can now see this happening and, as an organization, if we were asked to provide additional services, we would prioritize that."

Lasarow added that the tests are 98.8% accurate, which will be improved by repeated testing by Premier League personnel and that the company will be able to generate results within 48 hours.

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