Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was placed on the NFL’s COVID-IR list this week, but then was later removed when his tests came back negative

By Jason Duaine Hahn
August 05, 2020 02:19 PM
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Kelly Stafford/Instagram

Kelly Stafford said her life turned into a "nightmare" after her husband, Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions, tested positive for coronavirus — but later had the results rescinded when he tested negative multiple times.

The mother of four described the ordeal in a lengthy Instagram post on Tuesday that placed blame on the NFL for releasing news of Matthew's positive test, which was ultimately proven inaccurate.

"The past four days have been somewhat of a nightmare," Kelly wrote in the post. "For 24 hours, we believed my husband tested positive for COVID ... We were all tested the day after and we were all negative, including Matthew … then he tested negative again, then again, again and again."

After Matthew's coronavirus status was made public when he was placed on the Lions' coronavirus reserve list (COVID-IR), Kelly said it had immediate negative effects on the family.

“I have been losing my mind because of how my Family has been treated since my husband was put on the COVID-IR list,” Kelly explained. “Even after we knew it was a false positive, I was approached in a grocery store told I was ‘endangering others,’ my kids were harassed and kicked off a playground, I was told I needed to wait in my car when trying to pick up food, and people closest to us had to get tested just so they could go back to work … and that’s just to name a few things.”

Kelly and Matthew Stafford
Kelly Stafford/Instagram

“I blame the @NFL for not holding themselves accountable,” Kelly — who underwent a 12-hour brain operation to remove a brain tumor last year — continued in her post. "These are people’s lives and livelihoods that are in those results in THEIR test sites. Maybe we should be absolutely positive a person has covid before releasing that info to the world. I’m sharing our experience because I don’t want it happening to any other family that plays for this league.”

The NFL did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

According to Harvard Health, there are many factors in play when it comes to obtaining an accurate coronavirus test. For PCR tests — the kind where a swab is inserted into the nostril to gather a test sample — results could be affected by the condition the test was transported in to the laboratory. But results can also be affected by the timing of when the test was taken.

The FDA says false-positive results are possible and may occur for various reasons, such as an antibody test detecting a different coronavirus other than the one causing the current pandemic (SARS-CoV-2).

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"We are thankful for all those you called, texted, emailed and showed concern for Matthew and our family," Kelly said in her Instagram. "Your Thoughts during this strange, difficult time are greatly appreciated ... but we are all absolutely fine and feeling great. Thank God for that."

Coronavirus continues to be a major issue for the country five months after leading to a nationwide lockdown. The United States has seen more than 4.7 million cases and 157,302 deaths from the virus as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the New York Times.

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