Good news for Saints and fellow Premiership clubs as Covid-19 testing 'error' is confirmed

There was more good news in the Gallagher Premiership this week as the number of Covid-19 cases fell to just two.

By Tom Vickers
Thursday, 21st January 2021, 5:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st January 2021, 5:41 pm
Bath were forced to close their Farleigh House training base due to a testing error
Bath were forced to close their Farleigh House training base due to a testing error

Saints boss Chris Boyd had said earlier in the week that his club had thankfully been given the all-clear after the recent outbreak that forced the cancellation of the clash with Leicester Tigers.

But there seemed likely to be plenty of positive tests across the league after Bath were forced to shut their training ground, as Saints had done when they were hit by the virus a couple of weeks ago.

However, in a statement sent out on Thursday evening, Premiership Rugby admitted there had been mistakes made in this week's testing programme.

The statement read: "Our COVID-19 testing partners, Randox Health have confirmed an error in this week's Premiership Rugby PCR COVID-19 testing programme, which led to a delay in the release of the results.

"Due to operator error at Randox's Laboratories, the number of positive tests was incorrectly reported to the Premiership Rugby clubs on Tuesday morning.

"Following Randox’s review procedure, the error was reported on Wednesday, and Randox have confirmed today there were only two positive tests from 989 players and management at our 12 clubs in this week's PCR COVID-19 testing programme

"Randox has assured Premiership Rugby that this was an isolated incident and that action has been taken to ensure that this does not reoccur."

And a Randox spokesperson said: "As a result of routine risk analysis Randox discovered that in an isolated incident, operators failed to follow the established and robust procedures that Randox have in place for COVID 19 testing. Randox apologises for any inconvenience caused.

"We confirm there are two positive tests from 989 players and management in the PRL. Randox have introduced innovative robotic systems to ensure that this type of human error cannot reoccur."

Phil Winstanley, the rugby director at Premiership Rugby, said: "This issue has created disruption at our clubs, and especially at Bath Rugby who had isolated a number of players and temporarily closed their training ground after receiving their results early on Tuesday morning.

"The health and safety of everyone involved with Premiership Rugby is a priority for us so this matter will be thoroughly investigated."

There are no Premiership games taking place this weekend as the league is currently on a break.

Saints return to action with a fixture at Gloucester on January 30.