Premier League clubs are due to introduce daily Covid tests for players and training‑ground staff members in a bid to stop the postponement of matches. Forty-two Premier League players/staff tested positive for the virus in the last round of testing, a new record.
If last season is anything to go by, the December to January period is where the biggest challenge lies for the Premier League in suppressing the virus.
While the data below does not control for the frequency of testing (and note that the dates do not map perfectly as last season began later), we saw a similar December increase in the number of positive tests last year. It took until mid/late January to get control of this.
As the Premier League tests so frequently, it is interesting to consider whether it could be used as a barometer for positivity rates in society more generally.
Of course, there are notable differences across seasons. Now we have a new Covid variant at large and society is not living under restrictions. I would be concerned however. Unless new EPL measures to get the virus under control in clubs are effective we can probably expect more postponements.