Giants announce changes to their COVID testing procedures

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On Wednesday, Giants head coach Joe Judge said that 13 people in the organization tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday and that all but one of those people received negative results in followup testing.

That person was running backs coach Burton Burns, but there was word of more positive tests later in the day. Running back Saquon Barkley and safety Xavier McKinney went on the COVID-19 reserve list after the two players and guard Matt Skura reportedly tested positive. The team released a statement on Thursday that does not specifically reference those players, but suggests those tests were false positives while announcing changes to testing procedures as a result of the recent irregularities.

“As a precautionary measure, we canceled in-facility meetings for players this morning and closed our office to non-football staff,” the statement said. “Football meetings are being conducted virtually. Players, unless their test results are still being assessed under COVID protocols, will return this afternoon for practice.”

“Bio-Reference Laboratories (BRL) is experiencing an unusually high number of false positives using the Rapid Mesa Test at our facility. With the exception of one individual, all of the positive Mesa test results over the last two days have come back negative through PCR testing. The laboratory is working with experts to determine the source of the problem.”

“The NFL and BRL are monitoring this situation closely. We are temporarily halting the use of the Rapid Mesa Test and administering PCR tests only.”

If Barkley, McKinney, and Skura are in the clear, they could practice on Thursday. It’s unclear if Barkley is cleared to work after missing the last three games with an ankle injury and missing a full day of work on Wednesday probably isn’t good for his chances of returning.