Blackburn captain Elliott Bennett and two Fulham players tested positive for COVID-19 in the latest round of the testing in the Football League. The EFL revealed on Thursday that three people came out positive after tests on 1030 Championship players and club officials on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.
Rovers said that Bennett, 31, was “asymptomatic and feeling no ill effects”.
Both Fulham players, who were unnamed, are self-isolating in line with EFL and government guidance.
The news came after a Hull City player and a staff member were confirmed to have the virus on Sunday, after the previous round of testing.
The Tigers confirmed on Thursday night that they have no new positive cases.
Blackburn said, providing he develops no symptoms, Bennett is due to return to training on Friday, 5 June.
He 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 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.”
Fulham had had no positive tests after the first round of testing on Sunday, but the two players are now self-isolating.
Championship players returned to training on Monday after the coronavirus outbreak.
There has been no specific date set for a resumption of games, but the EFL are now expected to fall in line with the Premier League for a start date of around June 19/20.
The Premier League will restart in mid-week on June 17 so that games in hand can be played first before a full round of matches the following weekend.
And the low number of positive tests so far has been regarded as a major boost in the efforts to get the Championship, where virtually all clubs want to complete the season, up and running again.
The EFL said in a statement on Thursday: “The EFL will continue to make regular and relevant announcements as appropriate in respect of the testing programme to support competition integrity and transparency.”
And they also added: “Please note; Accuracy of testing provided is not 100% accurate but is in line with Government guidelines and NHS standards.
“These are private tests and will not have any impact on NHS testing resources or prevent other individuals from testing
“There is no cost to the UK taxpayer for testing of EFL players and staff. Clubs will cover the costs of testing.
“Every player or member of staff who attends the training ground, prior to entering the site, must complete a screening protocol to detect any symptoms in a manner devised by the Club Doctor.
“Players and staff will also be required to complete a daily medical questionnaire submitted before arrival at the training ground on training days. If this is not submitted before arrival, access to the training ground will be denied.”
Published at Thu, 28 May 2020 21:30:00 +0000