NFL Has Had a Weird Few Days
After a crazy weekend that saw a good chunk of NFL teams and players test positive for COVID-19, the NFL has cleared all those players and staff who tested positive after what the league is calling an “isolated contamination during test preparation”. All of the tests have been classified as false positives.
A total of 11 teams were affected by the false positives, with sources telling ESPN that 77 individuals had tested positive, which naturally led to some anxiety and halted team practices. Though there is, as of now, no evidence of an outbreak. Josh Allen, the quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, was one of those who tested positive and forced him to miss Sunday’s practice.
Everything Looks to Be Okay
According to the training camp protocol put in place by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, all 77 individuals can resume their work on Monday.
BioReference, the lab that the NFL hired to run all of its COVID-19 testing, uses five labs around the country to process the league’s daily tests. Only the lab in New Jersey was the one to return the false negatives this weekend.
BioReference says in their statement on the situation:
“On August 22, BioReference Laboratories reported an elevated number of positive COVID-19 PCR test results for NFL players and personnel at multiple clubs. The NFL immediately took necessary actions to ensure the safety of the players and personnel. Our investigation indicated that these were most likely false positive results, caused by an isolated contamination during test preparation in the New Jersey laboratory. Reagents, analyzers and staff were all ruled out as possible causes and subsequent testing has indicated that the issue has been resolved. All individuals impacted have been confirmed negative and informed.”
The NFLPA sent an email to its members, saying it has “initiated an investigation into both the testing process at the lab site in question and whether or not all of our protocols were followed.”
A Long Road Ahead
It is something that will surely be affecting the NFL and NFLPA, and their ongoing discussions for the regular season protocols and the testing they will be conducting. Both sides are having to decide on continuing daily testing, which expires on September 5th, as well as creating a policy on finding out false positives.
Currently during training camp, if a test comes back positive, two more tests will be administered over the course of 24 hours. If those tests come back negative, the positive test is labeled as false.
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