Nine Bears players and staff members tested positive for COVID-19 in Saturday’s round of testing, but all nine were determined to be false positives, the team revealed Sunday morning.
Out of an abundance of caution, the Bears postponed their Sunday practice — originally scheduled for 9:20 am — to 1:30 pm. The practice is expected to take place as now scheduled. Media members who showed up to Halas Hall to cover this morning’s practice were turned away at a security gate without an immediate explanation given.
The Bears released the following statement:
"This morning we learned yesterday’s Covid-19 testing identified nine players/staff as positive. We followed additional NFL-NFLPA testing protocol and confirmed all nine results as false positives. Out of an abundance of caution, we postponed this morning’s practice to this afternoon at 1:30pm."
The issue appears to be with a BioReference testing lab in New Jersey. The NFL had a low positive test result percentage until Saturday, when an irregular spike occurred, leading to some teams, like the Bears, postponing football activities.
The NFL also released the following statement:
"Saturday’s daily COVID testing returned several positive tests from each of the clubs serviced by the same laboratory in New Jersey. We are working with our testing partner, BioReference, to investigate these results, while the clubs work to confirm or rule out the positive tests. Clubs are taking immediate precautionary measures as outlined in the NFL-NFLPA’s health and safety protocols to include contact tracing, isolation of individuals and temporarily adjusting the schedule, where appropriate. The other laboratories used for NFL testing have not had similar results."
The Bears, as of Sunday morning, did not have any players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The last players to be on it were defensive lineman John Jenkins and tight end Eric Saubert, both of whom were activated Aug. 3. Being on the COVID-19 list does not mean a player tested positive for the novel coronavirus, only that he may be been in contact with someone who was positive.