Bears Report 9 False-Positive COVID-19 Test Results

The Bears and NFL are working cautiously after an issue with the league's testing lab.

Chris Emma
August 23, 2020 - 10:36 am

(670 The Score) The Bears pushed back their scheduled morning practice Sunday until 1:30 p.m. after the team's COVID-19 test results returned nine tests deemed false positives.

The Bears made their decision "out of an abundance of caution," the team said, after the NFL reported testing issues out of the BioReference lab in New Jersey. The Bears have their results run through a lab in Minnesota, head athletic trainer Andre Tucker said in late July.

"This morning we learned yesterday’s COVID-19 testing identified nine players/staff as positive," the Bears said in a statement. "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 NFL also issued a statement on the matter Sunday morning, looking to investigate the results of these tests.

"Saturday’s daily COVID testing returned several positive tests from each of the clubs serviced by the same laboratory in New Jersey," the NFL said. "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 NFL has seen early success in its COVID-19 prevention goal, with the players' association reporting just 64 positive cases for players since teams reported to training camps in late July. That accounts for 32 teams holding 80-man rosters. Only four players were on the league's new COVID-19/reserve list as of Saturday night.

Entering Sunday, the Bears didn't have any players currently on the COVID-19/reserve list, designated for players who either contracted the virus or came in contact with a person infected.

The Bears are scheduled to have an off day Monday after practicing Sunday afternoon at Halas Hall.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.