Premier League reveals new high of 40 coronavirus positives in just one week
The Premier League has been allowed to continue during England's national lockdown, but COVID-19 cases have climbed significantly in a week.
The Premier League has announced 40 new cases of COVID-19 among players and club staff - by far the highest figure recorded in a single week.
At the same time, the league said it was confident its protocols meant games should continue to be played, with clubs now being tested twice weekly.
The results for December 28 to January 3 saw the number of positives surge from the previous high of 18, which was recorded the week before.
In a statement, the Premier League said 28 tested positive from 1,311 tested between December 28 and December 31, with a further 12 positives from 984 players and staff who underwent tests from January 1 to January 3.
Premier League continues despite UK lockdown
Although England has entered a national lockdown, professional sport is being allowed to carry on, unlike last season when the campaign went on hold for three months.
The latest figures from league chiefs follow the postponement of three matches last week due to coronavirus infections, with Fulham's games against Tottenham and Burnley called off, along with Manchester City's fixture at Everton.
Despite this impact, the Premier League said it would press on with the season as intended. There have been calls from some in the game for a circuit break - a period in which clubs could look to get the virus under control.
The Premier League, however, said: "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."
It said players or club staff must self-isolate for 10 days after a positive test.
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