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NFL sees lab error as “learning opportunity”

BioReference Laboratories released a statement explaining why 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests happened with NFL teams over the weekend and it's not making Mike Florio or Chris Simms feel any easier.

Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer, is trying to put a positive spin on the lab error that saw the NFL hit with 77 false positive tests over the weekend.

“This has been a tremendous learning opportunity for us,” Sills said today. “We’re doing something that has never been done before.”

So what did the NFL learn? Sills said that the 11 different teams that saw a total of 44 players and 33 staff members test positive all handled those positive tests appropriately, despite the early indications that the positive tests were the result of a lab error.

“We treated those as true positives because that’s what we do as a precaution,” Sills said. “We have to remain very vigilant and make sure that we isolate those individuals and go through the confirmatory steps. . . . When in doubt, we’re always going to err on the side of keeping people out of team facilities.”

Sills said he doesn’t expect any more problems with lab errors.

“We do believe that the problem has been corrected,” Sills said. “Many of our club personnel saw it as an opportunity to see in real time how we would treat these situations.”