This is when Sheffield United's players will undergo their next Covid-19 tests

Sheffield United’s players and coaching staff are scheduled to undergo their latest round of coronavirus tests on Friday, Chris Wilder has confirmed, after suggesting no member of Bramall Lane’s first team squad has yet to be diagnosed with Covid-19.

Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 5:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 5:52 pm

United screened everyone associated with Wilder’s team before resuming training on Tuesday, with only small scale sessions initially permitted under Premier League guidelines designed to limit the spread of the disease.

Watford and Burnley both confirmed they were among those to return positive results when the competition’s official screening programme began in earnest earlier this week.

Although Wilder confirmed United would comply with data protection rules prohibiting the naming of individuals found to be carrying the virus, he indicated it has yet to permeate the Steelphalt Academy.

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“We’ve got twice a week testing,” Wilder said, describing the number of cases detected so far as “encouraging.”

“Across the league, there’s been a few (positive tests). I’m not surprised by the numbers, because of how healthy the players are and the lengths they’ve gone to (to keep themselves safe).

“Our next one is on Friday.”

“There’s things in place regarding the data and we’ll go along with that,” the United manager added. “But I think you’d know if it had happened here. We’ll respect the instructions we’ve been given but that’s not a criticism of anyone else.”

Health care workers handle Covid-19 testing samples. All Premier League footballers are now being tested twice a week for the disease: Amilcar Orfali/Getty Images

Wilder, whose side were seventh in the table when the season was mothballed two months ago, also addressed suggestions that football should not be contemplating a return until testing procedures for National Health Service staff improve.

Insisting he believes the planned restart date of June 12 is still achievable, despite complaints from some members of his profession that a longer preparation period is required, Wilder said: “What we’re doing, in terms of testing and safeguards, is probably above and beyond any other industry.

“Has it got government backing? Yes. Has it got NHS backing? Yes. So morally, it’s okay for me.

"The Premier League has got people who are experts. They know what they are doing and they wouldn't lead us down a dangerous path."

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