PREMIER LEAGUE

Premier League announces fall in new covid-19 cases

A further 16 coronavirus positives were returned by the latest round of Premier League testing, although the infection rate is falling.

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Premier League announces fall in new COVID-19 cases as 16 test positive

The Premier League has announced 16 new positive cases from its most recent two rounds of coronavirus testing - a fall of 20 from the number of players and members of club staff who tested positive the previous week.

Due to a rise in infection rates across the league and in the United Kingdom at large, the Premier League ramped up testing to twice weekly between January 4-10, when there were 36 positives.

Across the two rounds carried out between January 11-17, there were 16 positives from 3,115 tests.

That amounts to an infection rate of 0.5 per cent, down from the rate of 1.39 per cent the previous week, when there were 2,593 tests.

Clubs received updated guidance from the Premier League this week, reminding them that "unnecessary contact" between players such as "handshakes, high fives and hugging" should be avoided, following government criticism of goal celebrations.

Games called off

Aston Villa's games against Tottenham and Everton were called off over the past week following a covid-19 outbreak that forced them to close their Bodymoor Heath training ground.

Villa are due to return to action at Manchester City on Wednesday, but Leeds United's scheduled meeting with Southampton on the same day will not take place.

Southampton will instead face Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup third round, with the initial fixture earlier this month postponed due to a number of coronavirus cases at the League One club, with their manager Steve Cotterill remaining in hospital.