Premier League Announces 2 More Positive COVID-19 Tests After Round 2 of TestingMay 23, 2020
The Premier League announced Saturday that two positive COVID-19 results emerged following the second phase of testing for all 20 clubs, per Sky Sports.
A total of 996 tests were conducted in phase two. The identities of the people who tested positive have not been revealed, but Sky Sports reported that they represent separate clubs.
The first phase of testing resulted in six positive results out of 748, per Sky Sports.
The news comes amid the Premier League's desire to return to play in June amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph reported Saturday on a potential return date for the EPL:
"The English Premier League, which is so desperate to complete the season and avoid a potential £762m rebate on its broadcast income, is also working on a plan that would see top-flight football resume in England, either from June 12 or June 19."
Each club had nine or 10 league matches remaining on their ledger when the season was halted in March because of COVID-19.
Other top-flight European leagues have either resumed play or plan to do so shortly. The Bundesliga returned on May 16 following a hiatus lasting over two months.
Loveday Morris and Rick Noack of the Washington Post painted a picture of what the EPL's return may look like if the Bundesliga is any indication.
"In a 50-page strategy paper, the German soccer league (DFL) laid out the painstakingly detailed rules covering a wide range of situations, from TV production arrangements to team training to the personal hygiene of players. Under the new rules, competing teams have to arrive at different times at the stadiums. In changing rooms, face masks are mandatory. And on the pitch, team photos, handshakes or mascots are prohibited.
"Before the resumption of the season, all teams were asked to spend one week in communal quarantine, and coronavirus tests are being conducted regularly. Although those precautions may minimize the risks, practices and matches still involve large groups of people coming into close contact."
Fans are also banned from attending the games.
As far as other European leagues go, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced Saturday that La Liga can return as soon as June 8 (h/t ESPN's Alex Kirkland).
While there isn't a timetable for Serie A's return, the Italian Football Federation announced that teams must finish their regular seasons by August 20, per Tom Caldon of the Daily Mail.
The finishes to the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 campaigns in France were called off in April.
Per World Health Organization figures on Saturday, more than 5.1 million people worldwide have tested positive for COVID-19, and over 333,400 people have died.