Lee Johnson explains next steps after Sunderland return one positive COVID result

Lee Johnson has confirmed that the club’s latest round of COVID-19 testing has returned one positive result.

Sunderland boss Lee Johnson
Sunderland boss Lee Johnson

The player in question will not be available for tomorrow night’s Carabao Cup quarter final against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

The Sunderland head coach says that no close contacts have been identified in the aftermath of the positive result, meaning his squad is at this stage unaffected otherwise.

Sunderland’s squad will undergo another round of lateral-flow tests first thing on Tuesday morning before heading south.

"We have one COVID case going into the game,” Johnson said.

“There are no further absentees in terms of close contacts, it’s just a case of someone who we had planned to be in the squad now not being able to.

“All of our plays will have their alarm set for the morning to conduct another full round of lateral flow tests, and we’ll then travel off the back of that.”

Johnson had revealed last week that his squad are 97% fully vaccinated against the virus, with booster jabs scheduled to begin this week.

That is significant in general terms as it means players will not automatically have to isolate if they come into contact with another positive test, and under current government rules can instead test daily.


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"I think it’s really good and credit has to go the lads, and the education that the medical and sports science staff have delivered,” Johnson said.

"I haven’t had to bend the arm of too many of the squad too much.”