Blackburn's Elliott Bennett and two Fulham players test positive for coronavirus
Bennett: "It's not a big deal at all. It's the people who are seriously ill in hospital that we need to worry about, not footballers who are fit and healthy."
Last Updated: 28/05/20 6:54pm
Blackburn midfielder Elliott Bennett and two unnamed Fulham players have tested positive for coronavirus.
Bennett, 31, is asymptomatic and feeling no ill effects. Blackburn have confirmed Bennett will now self-isolate at home for the next seven days and provided he develops no symptoms, will return to training with his Rovers team-mates on Friday June 5.
Blackburn have also confirmed the players and coaching staff who were in the same group as Bennett for Monday's small group training session have subsequently been re-tested and have again provided negative results.
In a statement, Bennett said: "I feel fit and healthy. Hopefully this sends out a positive message to the community that perhaps many people have or have had the virus without showing any effects.
I’ve known how serious this coronavirus has been for sometime now! But it does really hit home when someone you care about catches it! Being with him last few days at training he’s fine, healthy an fit, with no symptoms at all....@Ebenno88 stay strong bro❤️ stay safe everyone 💙— Bradley Johnson (@BradJohnson15) May 28, 2020
"I obviously would never have known if we hadn't returned to training and taken the tests, because I don't feel unwell and have got no symptoms whatsoever.
"There seems to have been a lot of hysteria about footballers returning to training, but it's not a big deal at all. It's the people who are seriously ill in hospital that we need to worry about, not footballers who are fit and healthy, and who aren't showing any signs of being unwell."
In their latest round of testing, the EFL says 1,030 players and club staff were tested over the course of Monday 25, Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 May.
Two individuals from Hull tested positive following the first round of coronavirus testing in the Championship, but the club confirmed none of their players or staff were included in the three new positive tests.
Those players or club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate in line with the guidelines provided by the EFL and only those who have tested negative will be permitted to enter training ground facilities.
In a statement, Fulham said: "After the second round of league-wide testing for COVID-19 completed by Fulham FC players and staff this week at the Club's training facility, we can confirm that two players have tested positive for Coronavirus.
"Both players, who shall remain unnamed due to medical confidentiality, are now self-isolating in line with league and government guidance."
The EFL outlined last Friday they would adopt a "flexible approach" in their finalised Return to Training Protocols (RTT), including the option for players to self-test for coronavirus.
Players and staff will be required to complete a daily medical questionnaire submitted before arrival at the training ground on training days, with access denied if this is not submitted before arrival.
The Premier League revealed four more people had tested positive after their third round of coronavirus testing on Monday and Tuesday.
There is currently no testing programme for League One clubs, with their season set to be decided on unweighted points-per-game.
League Two clubs have already "unanimously indicated" they wish to end their season, but the EFL board has described maintaining relegation as "integral" to preserving the competition's "integrity".