REUTERS: Bath said on Thursday they had returned 18 false positive COVID-19 results in the latest round of testing due to an operator error at Premiership Rugby's testing partners Randox Health.
Bath were informed on Tuesday that 19 of the 24 league-wide positive cases included their players and staff. All positive cases and the 16 Bath players who were identified as close contacts went into isolation as per the health protocols.
The club also closed their training ground and underwent a deep clean to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
But Premiership Rugby said on Thursday there were only two positive cases from 989 tests conducted this week, with Bath being informed that 18 of their 19 positive cases were negative.
Randox said the error "was an isolated incident and that action has been taken to ensure that this does not reoccur".
"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," a spokesperson for Randox said.
Bath chief executive Tarquin McDonald said that the incident had disrupted the team's activities.
"It is a huge and welcome relief to understand that this was a false alarm," McDonald said in a statement https://www.bathrugby.com/news/club-statement-randox-testing. "However, this has caused huge disruption to our players, staff and to our training environment during an important two week break from games."
Bath said that their training ground at Farleigh House will re-open next week, with full contact training to resume on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)