Premiership Rugby confirms 10 positive coronavirus cases
Six positive tests were players, four were non-playing staff; Harlequins and Saracens confirm positive tests
Last Updated: 08/07/20 8:40pm
Premiership Rugby has confirmed that 10 people out of 804 screened on Monday have tested positive for coronavirus.
A statement said: "Premiership Rugby can today confirm that on Monday 6 July, 804 players and club staff were tested as part of the PCR COVID-19 screening programme. Of these, 10 people have tested positive. Of those 10, six were players and four non-playing staff.
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"Players or club staff who have tested positive and their close contacts will now isolate and be assessed in line with the PHE-agreed guidelines."
The statement added: "Premiership Rugby and the RFU are providing this aggregated information for competition integrity and transparency.
"No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided. The number of positive results will be made public after each round of testing."
Shortly after the announcement was made, Harlequins confirmed that one of the positive cases came from their club.
"The individual is now in isolation along with any others identified as close contacts in both their team and household settings. This approach is informed by protocols established with Public Health England (PHE) and Track and Trace," they said in a statement.
"When a player or staff member tests positive they are assessed on an individual basis under PHE guidelines, and a plan will be implemented which will include self-isolation as well as the isolation of team and household contacts.
"Further to this, a second test is now being taken by the individual to confirm the test, and the result will be known this week."
Later on Wednesday evening, Saracens also confirmed that "one or more" members of their staff had tested positive.
Saracens said in a statement: "We can confirm that one or more members of staff at our club have tested positive in our PCR COVID-19 screening programme in the round of tests taken across the Premiership on Monday, July 6.
"We have to respect patient confidentiality so we won't be naming the person or people involved.
"The individuals will now go into isolation along with any others identified as close contacts in both their team and household settings. This is informed by protocols established with Public Health England (PHE) and Track and Trace."
Sky Sports News understands Northampton are among the other clubs at which staff failed COVID-19 tests, with Saints accounting for one positive.
Youngs: All clubs need to be diligent
Leicester Tigers scrum-half Ben Youngs said he did not feel that 10 was a particularly high number when you consider over 800 were tested, but added that following the correct procedures from here on out would be imperative in not allowing that number to grow which would jeopardise the return to play.
"You don't want that 10 to be next week suddenly 30, then you're in 80, then we are in a spot of bother," Youngs told reporters.
"Rugby does need to get back up and running. The clubs need it, everyone needs it. So we need that to be as diligent as possible across all the clubs to allow that.
"So if there is 10, hopefully people will follow the protocols to make sure next week it doesn't get any larger than that."
Premiership clubs began contact training this week ahead of the competition's targeted resumption in mid-August.
The Professional Game Board approved the move to Stage 2 of training last week, after clubs "successfully" completed phase one.
Stage 2 allows for the resumption of close-contact training where small groups and/or teams will be able to interact much closer to one another.
Guidance stipulates that players and designated support staff must undergo regular COVID-19 testing, with a high standard of hygiene required at training facilities.