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Bears postpone practice after COVID-19 testing irregularities

Nine false positive COVID-19 tests on the Bears prompt them to reschedule today’s practice at Halas Hall.

NFL: Chicago Bears-Training Camp Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday morning the NFL issued the following statement after several COVID-19 testing irregularities surfaced from the same labratory in New Jersey.

“Saturday’s daily COVID testing returned several positives 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 unexpected test results prompted some teams to cancel or to postpone their practices for today, one of which was the Chicago Bears, who elected to push back their morning practice.

Here’s the statement issued by the Bears.

“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 1:30 p.m.”

The Bears currently have no players on the league’s Reserve/COVID-19 list.

The NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero Tweeted out that, “The NFL has conducted well over 100,000 COVID-19 tests since camp began with a positivity rate that’s a fraction of 1% and dropping. A sudden flood of positives from different testing sites, all processed by the same lab, raises a red flag.”

Every team that had tests sent to that New Jersey lab had false positives, with the Washington Football Team, the Cleveland Browns, the Buffalo Bills, the New York Jets, and the Detroit Lions being a few other teams reported to have been affected by the results.

The Bears will likely meet the media after today’s rescheduled, and if they update this situation we’ll be sure to pass along that information.

According to MIT, “A false positive is a test result that is wrong, because it indicates the person is infected when they really are not or that they have antibodies when they really don’t.”