The Premier League says 40 players and club staff have tested positive for coronavirus over the past week – more than double the previous weekly high.
After previously testing once a week, the Premier League conducted 2,295 tests across two rounds over the past week.
Between 28 and 31 December, there were 28 new positive tests and 12 more found between 1 and 3 January.
The previous high was 18 positive results from 21 to 27 December.
“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,” said the Premier League.
The Football Association said there were 15 positive results from 635 tests carried out across the Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship between 28 December and 3 January.
It marks a decrease in the number of positive tests from the previous round, when there were 32 positive results from 864 tests between 14-20 December,
Four players at WSL side Manchester City tested positive as a result of them taking a trip to Dubai with the club’s permission.
The latest Premier League results mark an increase in the rate of positive tests. In the latest round, 1.74% of those tested were found to be positive.
The 18 positive tests recorded between 21 and 27 December came from 1,479 tests, a rate of 1.22%.
Under Premier League regulations, players and club staff who test positive must self-isolate for 10 days.
Three matches in the English top flight were called off last week because of coronavirus outbreaks at individual clubs.
Manchester City’s trip to Everton on 28 December was called off after full-back Kyle Walker and striker Gabriel Jesus tested positive.
City’s match at Chelsea on Sunday went ahead despite four more members of Pep Guardiola’s squad – goalkeeper Ederson, defender Eric Garcia, forward Ferran Torres and midfielder Tommy Doyle – returning positive results.
Two Fulham away matches were also postponed – at Tottenham on 30 December and Burnley on 3 January.
Fulham said the matches were cancelled after a “significant number” of positive cases at the club.
Last Tuesday, Sheffield United said they had recorded “a number” of positive tests but opted to play at Crystal Palace on Saturday with a depleted squad.
The importance of players sticking to the protocols has been stressed to the 20 Premier League clubs.
It comes after there were a number of apparent coronavirus breaches by players over Christmas and the New Year.
|Week||Number of tests conducted||Number of positive results|
|1 (31 Aug-6 Sep)||1,605||3|
|2 (7-13 Sep)||2,131||4|
|3 (14-20 Sep)||1,574||3|
|4 (21-27 Sep)||1,595||10|
|5 (28 Sep-4 Oct)||1,587||9|
|6 (5-11 Oct)||1,128||5|
|7 (12-18 Oct)||1,575||8|
|8 (19-25 Oct)||1,609||2|
|9 (26 Oct-1 Nov)||1,446||4|
|10 (2-8 Nov)||1,646||4|
|11 (9-15 Nov)||1,207||16|
|12 (16-22 Nov)||1,530||8|
|13 (23-29 Nov)||1,381||10|
|14 (30 Nov-6 Dec)||1,483||14|
|15 (7-13 Dec)||1,549||6|
|16 (14-20 Dec)||1,569||7|
|17 (21-27 Dec)||1,479||18|
|18 (28 Dec-3 Jan)||2,295||40|
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