All 77 NFL positive COVID-19 tests from weekend come back negative

(Reuters) - The National Football League has cleared all 77 individuals who returned positive results for COVID-19 over the weekend after discovering a testing error in a New Jersey lab, ESPN reported, citing sources.

A total of 11 teams were affected by testing irregularities, leading to changes in Sunday’s practice schedules.

All the 77 tests from BioReference Laboratories that were in question came back negative during Sunday’s re-tests.

"The NFL immediately took necessary actions to ensure the safety of the players and personnel," the lab's executive chairman Jon R. Cohen said in a statement here.

“Our investigation indicated that these were most likely false positive results, caused by an isolated contamination during test preparation in the New Jersey laboratory.

“All individuals impacted have been confirmed negative and informed.”

Earlier this month, a Detroit Lions player and Los Angeles Chargers staff member also registered false positives for the virus, prompting the league to update its protocols.

Under the latest guidelines, players or staff who test positive but are asymptomatic must have two confirmatory tests the day after returning a positive COVID-19 result.

If both confirmatory tests are negative, the individuals can rejoin team activities.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris