The NFL’s chief medical officer views this weekend’s flood of false positive COVID-19 test results as a beneficial teaching tool, and he remains encouraged by the responses of the teams impacted by the results and the low numbers of actual positive cases that the league has seen in recent weeks.
“This has been a tremendous learning opportunity for us,” Dr. Allen Sills told reporters on a conference call Monday afternoon. “We said all along that we would learn a great deal as we move through this protocol, because we’re doing something that’s never been done before.
“We’re testing every day with surveillance tests in a very broad population across 32 different sites at a scale that’s never been done before. So, as such, we know that we’re going to learn along the way. We’ve seen that happen already and certainly the events of this weekend demonstrated that fact again, and as a result of what happened this weekend, our protocols will improve. We will get better, our procedures will get better and certainly, we’ll be better positioned to continue to meet the challenges of operating safely amid this pandemic.”
Sills echoed a statement issued Monday morning by testing partner BioReference Laboratories that it was determined the 77 false positive test results were contaminated during the testing process in an area of the regional lab that serves a number of NFL teams.
It’s believed that once inside the lab, the materials were contaminated while being transported into the analyzer, according to Sills, who described the process as delicate and highly complex.
The flood of positive tests set off alarms because until this weekend, the NFL’s testing numbers had been extremely low.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Mike Jones