Bears, Texans close facilities after positive COVID-19 tests

Texans COVID
The Houston Texans have another positive COVID-19 case within their ranks.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears and Houston Texans have closed their facilities after players tested positive for COVID-19, the two National Football League teams said on Thursday.

Chicago, already in the NFL’s “intensive protocol” after offensive lineman Jason Spriggs tested positive earlier in the week, said they were notified on Thursday morning of another positive test involving a player.

“As a result, the club has decided to pause all in-person football activities and close Halas Hall,” the Bears, who are scheduled to play at the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, said in a statement.

The Titans had the first major outbreak of the NFL season and were fined $350,000 by the NFL for violating the league’s COVID protocols.

“Today’s practice has been canceled and all meetings will be conducted virtually,” the statement continued. “The player who tested positive and all close contacts have been contacted and have already begun self-isolation.”

The Bears also said it is unclear how the latest positive test may affect their Week 9 game.

COVID-19 outbreaks have impacted several clubs across the 32-team NFL and forced the league to reschedule a handful of games.

The Texans, who are due to play at the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, said they were informed of the positive test on Wednesday evening and that the unnamed individual immediately self-isolated.

“In consultation with the NFL and medical experts, we have made the decision to close the facility and conduct all operations virtually today,” the Texans said in a statement.

“The player immediately self-isolated and contact tracing has begun. We will follow the NFL’s intensive protocols and guidance regarding the team’s operations. The health and safety of our team, as well as our entire staff, are of the highest priority.”

Houston had a COVID-19 scare at the end of October when offensive guard Max Scharping tested positive. He was placed on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list and the Texans‘ facility was closed for a deep cleaning before getting back to work. They haven’t played since Oct. 25, a loss to the Green Bay Packers.

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