Record 103 positive Covid-19 cases in PL

A record 103 Premier League players and staff tested positive for coronavirus in the past week – the highest weekly figure recorded since testing figures began being circulated in May last year.

With testing increased to daily lateral flow and twice-weekly PCR tests last week as the league responded to rising Omicron levels, 15,186 Covid-19 tests were administered between Monday December 20 and Sunday December 26.

“The safety of everyone is a priority and the Premier League is taking all precautionary steps in response to the impact of the Omicron variant,” the league said in a statement.

Last week saw 90 Premier League players and staff test positive for Covid-19 as these new emergency protocols were introduced.

Other measures introduced are the wearing of face coverings while indoors and observing social distancing as well as limiting treatment time.

The latest results come as a number of Premier League bosses have spoken out on the impact Covid-19 cases are having on already stretched squads during the festive period.

With 15 top-flight games already postponed over the last fortnight, managers are concerned about an increased workload for those fit to play, as well as players returning from Covid and injuries being asked to make their comebacks faster than usual.

Various managers – including Thomas Tuchel, the Chelsea head coach – have called for clubs to once again be permitted to make five changes per match to help ease the pressure on their squads.

Coronavirus is affecting games across England

Coronavirus is affecting games across England

Premier League Covid-19 test results this season

2 Aug-8 Aug 3,118 tested; 9 positive

9 Aug-15 Aug 3,231 tests; 11 positive

16 Aug-22 Aug 3,060 tests; 16 positive

23 Aug-29 Aug 3,020 tests; six positive

30 Aug-5 Sep 1,952 tests; two positive

6 Sep-12 Sep 3,039 tests; three positive

13 Sep-19 Sep 3,154 tests; two positive

20 Sep-26 Sep 3,010 tests; one positive

27 Sep-3 Oct 2,927 tests; four positive

4 Oct-10 Oct 1,696 tests; zero positive

11 Oct-17 Oct 3,044 tests; six positive

18 Oct-24 Oct 3,209 tests; four positive

25-31 Oct 3,006 tests; four positive

1-7 Nov 2,953 tests; three positive

8-14 Nov 1,647 tests; four positive

15-21 Nov 3,188 tests; six positive

22-28 Nov 3,379 tests; seven positive

29 Nov-5 Dec 3,154 tests; 12 positive

6-12 Dec 3,805 tests; 42 positive

13-19 Dec 12,345 tests; 90 positive – testing increased to daily lateral flow testing and twice-weekly PCR testing

20-26 Dec 15,186 tests; 103 positive

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Burnley Chairman Alan Pace has called for more notice with regards to games being called off due to the Covid crisis so that clubs and fans can plan accordingly.

Which Premier League games have been called off?

Brighton vs Tottenham – Sunday December 12, Premier League

Brentford vs Man Utd – Tuesday December 14, Premier League

Burnley vs Watford – Wednesday December 15, Premier League

Leicester vs Tottenham – Thursday December 16, Premier League

Man Utd vs Brighton – Saturday December 18, Premier League

Southampton vs Brentford – Saturday December 18, Premier League

Watford vs Crystal Palace – Saturday December 18, Premier League

West Ham vs Norwich – Saturday December 18, Premier League

Aston Villa vs Burnley – Saturday December 18, Premier League

Everton vs Leicester – Sunday December 19, Premier League

Liverpool vs Leeds – Sunday December 26, Premier League

Wolves vs Watford Sunday December 26, Premier League

Burnley vs Everton Sunday December 26, Premier League

Leeds vs Aston Villa – Tuesday December 28, Premier League

Arsenal vs Wolves – Tuesday December 28, Premier League

Premier League signage

What are the Premier League rules around postponements?

After the postponement of a number of games in the weeks leading up to Christmas, a new Premier League guide explaining match postponement protocols was published.

And there, these factors are considered when deciding whether to postpone a top-flight game:

  1. The impact of COVID-19 infections on a club’s squad, as well as injuries, illness and those isolating, and the number of players available on the squad list and any Under-21 players with appropriate experience. Where a club cannot field 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper either from its squad list or its appropriately experienced Under-21 players, the match will be postponed.
  2. The status of any COVID-19 outbreak within a club, including the number of individuals affected, the sequence and source of infections and their proximity to the match in question.
  3. A club’s ability to safely prepare its players in the lead-up to a match.
  4. Medical advice as to whether there is any unacceptable risk to the health and safety of players and staff by playing the match.
  5. Any advice from UK Health Security Agency and other public bodies.
  6. Any other exceptional circumstances.