EFL records 112 positive COVID-19 tests in latest round

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FILE PHOTO: Premier League - Arsenal v Aston Villa

(Reuters) - The English Football League, which governs the three divisions below the Premier League, said on Friday that 112 individuals tested positive for COVID-19 in the latest round of testing.

This week's tests involved 66 EFL clubs including all of those playing in the FA Cup third round. The six clubs not covered will be tested ahead of their next league fixtures.

The EFL did not name the clubs or players who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, but said the infected individuals will self-isolate for 10 days.

"Following the latest round of mandated Covid-19 tests, the EFL can confirm that 3,507 players and club staff from 66 EFL Clubs were tested over the course of the past week with 112 individuals testing positive," the EFL said in a statement https://www.efl.com/news/2021/january/efl-statement-covid-19-test-results.

The EFL said it was confident its COVID-19 testing protocols "continue to mitigate against the spread of infection as intended" despite the surging infection rate in Britain caused by a new variant of the virus.

The United Kingdom has recorded more than 2.8 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 78,000 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.

The EFL added that it will conduct twice-weekly tests for its 72 clubs, starting on Monday.

Second-tier Championship side Brentford said https://www.brentfordfc.com/news/2021/january/positive-covid-19-tests-at-brentford-fc their manager Thomas Frank had tested positive on Thursday, two days after their 2-0 League Cup semi-final loss at Tottenham Hotspur.

League One (third-tier) Shrewsbury Town's FA Cup third round match at Southampton on Saturday was called off on Thursday due to several COVID-19 cases in their camp.

Derby County said on Wednesday their first-team squad and interim manager Wayne Rooney would not be involved in Saturday's FA Cup match at sixth-tier Chorley as they were self-isolating following an outbreak of COVID-19 at the club.

Middlesbrough also said preparations for their third-round match at Brentford had been affected after a number of their first-team players and staff tested positive.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)