Following the latest round of mandated Covid-19 tests, the EFL can confirm that 3507 players and Club staff from 66 EFL Clubs were tested over the course of the past week with 112 individuals testing positive.
This week’s testing programme incorporated all EFL clubs who are participating in the FA Cup Round 3 fixtures, and the remaining six EFL Clubs who did not feature will be tested ahead of their next League fixture with results announced in due course.
Players or club staff who have tested positive will self-isolate for a period of 10 days in line with Government guidance.
The EFL’s Medical Advisors Dr Richard Higgins and Dr.Subhashis Basu added: “Today’s results reflect the current speed at which the virus is spreading amid the emergence of a new variant of COVID-19 but the low reported numbers across the overwhelming majority of clubs means we remain confident that our protocols continue to mitigate against the spread of infection as intended.
“The protocols, supported by the clubs and government, are allowing us to continue playing fixtures as scheduled but we cannot be complacent, which is why recently enhanced matchday and non-matchday COVID protocols have been issued to underpin the re-introduction of a League wide testing programme which commences next week.
“Medical advice continues to support that following these protocols is the most successful route to mitigating against the spread of infection.”
FUTURE TESTING ANNOUNCEMENTS
As announced earlier this week, the EFL and Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) will be introducing twice-weekly COVID-19 testing for all 72 clubs from Monday 11 January.
The re-introduction of a League wide testing programme is designed to complement the League’s recently enhanced matchday and non-matchday COVID protocols.
The EFL will continue to make a central announcement of Covid-19 test results confirming number of tests taken and number of positives while the testing process remains in place, with results announced every Tuesday.
No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League.
Manager Chris Beech said: "We’ve had players who have had it in the past, but in our latest round of testing everybody was negative.
"We were all ready to play tomorrow with all players available if the match had been on. We’re doing the right things, but as we all know it can come into the building even when you are all doing the right things.
"The lads understand the responsibilities they have, it has been hard, but we’re thankful we can still go to work."
“In terms of keeping the game going, it’s probably better not to test anybody because then nobody knows anything," he continued. "In terms of keeping the game going ethically and safely, more regular testing will make individuals much more comfortable.
"Even myself, Brandon [his son] is back into shielding now so it enables a safer environment to work in. It will probably throw up more anomalies, but we’ve got to think beyond football and look at the bigger picture.
"There are a lot of people working hard to fight this in hospitals, and we’re hopefully not far away from the vaccine, so we’ve got to do our bit.
"We're obviously very priviliged to be able to continue to do our work, which many people can't, and we have to protect that and treat it with the respect our fans deserve to see us treat it with.
"Of course we want to continue, but we want to be dong that safely, and we're pleased to say that is the case."