ONLY one member of St Mirren's backroom staff has been found to have contracted coronavirus after retesting discovered the other six cases were false positives.

It was feared Scottish football's big kick-off was set to be thrown into disarray when the Buddies reported a major Covid-19 outbreak late on Thursday night.

But we now understand that the initial tests carried out by a private laboratory have now been re-examined by NHS experts and only one member of Jim Goodwin's staff has actually fallen ill with coronavirus.

The Scottish Football Association and Scottish Professional Football League's Joint Response Group ordered St Mirren to axe this weekend's planned friendly with St Johnstone, while the rest of the top flight clubs have been told to revert to twice-weekly testing after the requirements were relaxed earlier this month.

The Paisley side are due to kick off their season at home to Livingston on August 1.

St Mirren chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick told the club's website: "We have complied robustly with the official testing and hygiene regimen to the letter, using a private testing facility in accordance with the Scottish Government and the SPFL/SFA Joint Response Group protocols.

"Our players were tested on Monday 20th and have returned 100% negative tests on Wednesday 22nd July, however test results for seven of the coaching staff undertaken at the same time showed they were positive for Covid-19.

"We immediately implemented strict isolation protocols and made further arrangements for the coaching staff to be retested at NHS testing facilities on Thursday 23rd.

"I’m very pleased to report that six of the subsequent coaching staff tests have now come back negative this morning (Friday 24th).

"The remaining member of the coaching staff has confirmed as a positive test result and continues to be in strict isolation and has not come into contact with any member of the playing or coaching staff since Saturday 18th July. The club will continue to support and look after this staff member to ensure a full recovery.

"We are liaising closely with NHS Scotland, the SPFL and the SFA on next steps. We will also be undertaking an urgent review of the private testing arrangement which returned the initial false positive test results.

"In light of recent events the club’s planned friendly match at home to St Johnstone, scheduled to take place on Saturday 25th July, has been cancelled.

"Our priority throughout the pandemic has always been the safety and wellbeing of our staff and players, and to ensure we placed public safety at the forefront of our thoughts and actions. This will continue to be the clubs top priority as a safe start to the football season is essential."