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Former NFL player returns to St. Louis to open coronavirus testing lab

"I bring a championship mentality to anything I am involved in," Super Bowl champ Sylvester Williams said of his new venture: Quantum Laboratory.

BRIDGETON, Mo. — Inside a Bridgeton office building, a renovated dentist's office now houses Missouri's only Black-owned testing lab: Quantum Laboratory. It's an $800,000 facility with former NFL defensive end Sylvester Williams leading from the sidelines.

"Personally, I bring a championship mentality to anything I am involved in," Williams said of the new business venture.

A Super Bowl champ with the Denver Broncos, Williams has defied the odds to accomplish success in life. A walk-on at a Kansas community college, Williams transferred to the University of North Carolina, became a first-round draft pick, and is now in the middle of a 40-yard dash against omicron.

Originally interested in drug toxicology testing, Williams said they were in the middle of licensing when the pandemic hit, pivoting to serve the communities that have been disproportionately affected by COVID.

"I myself have been blessed," Williams said, adding, "but I come from an under-served background. Growing up, I went to see people who don't necessarily look like me so my comfort level may not be the same as if I go in there and there's somebody with a similar background to mine."

Williams said they were initially processing hundreds of tests a day, but now that number is closer to a thousand. Plus, they expect more equipment this week that would further increase capacity. 

As Williams' team continues to ramp up their PCR testing, he says he knows what it's like to fight for something and win.

"Helping fight this pandemic absolutely is the Super Bowl for me," he said.

Quantum Laboratory will be set up at Walnut Park Library at 5760 W. Florissant Ave. from 12-5 PM this Tuesday through Thursday.

Quantum Laboratory accepts walk-ins, and appointments can be made online.

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