The Premier League has announced 40 new positive coronavirus cases among players and club staff in the latest round of testing, by far the highest figure recorded in a single week.
In a statement, the top-flight revealed 40 of the 1,575 players and members of staff at the 20 top-flight clubs had returned a positive Covid-19 test.
The Premier League said 28 persons first tested positive from 1,311 tested between December 28 and December 31, with a further 12 positives from 984 players and staff who underwent tests from January 1 to January 3.
The previous record, set on December 29, was just 18, with the massive surge in the past week following reports of a mutant strain of the virus.
The latest round of testing took place between December 28 and January 3. In that time, three Premier League matches were postponed due to clubs being hit hard by Covid.
The games called off are; Everton vs Manchester City (December 28), Tottenham vs Fulham (December 30) and Fulham vs Burnley (January 3).
Players or club staff who have tested positive will self-isolate for 10 days.