After Matthew Stafford’s false positive, NFL alters COVID-19 testing protocols

August 9, 2020 in News by RBN Staff


The NFL is making changes to its COVID-19 testing protocols to account for situations like the one Matthew Stafford dealt with earlier this week.

According to a memo sent to all club presidents, general managers and head coaches from NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills, players who test positive and are asymptomatic are to undergo two confirmatory nasal tests the following day.

If both tests are negative, the player “is not considered COVID positive and may resume all normal activity, including access to the facility,” the memo said.

Stafford tested positive for the novel coronavirus July 31, then posted consecutive negative tests on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

The Lions placed Stafford on the reserve/COVID-19 list last Saturday, then removed him Tuesday, saying he registered a false positive.

“To be clear, Matthew does NOT have COVID-19 and never has had COVID-19 and the test in question was a False-Positive,” the Lions said in a statement. “Also, all of Matthew’s family have been tested and everyone is negative.”

Sills said the COVID-19 testing the NFL uses is “incredibly accurate at detecting the targets,” small bits of RNA that match the sequence of the virus’