Lions, Bears also make adjustments in response to virus
ALLEN PARK – Like most teams around the NFL, the Detroit Lions issued a statement regarding the coronavirus. It reads at follows:
“The Detroit Lions have been closely monitoring the global events surrounding the spread of COVID-19 and fully support the precautions being taken in response. Our organization has been in direct contact with the NFL, leading health administrators and city officials throughout this process.
Over the past week we have asked employees to participate in a variety of proactive measures to reduce the risk of transmission at both Ford Field and the team’s training facility in Allen Park. At this time our organization has suspended travel for coaches and player personnel staff. Additionally, we have encouraged all employees, except operationally critical staff, to work remotely until further notice beginning Friday, March 13, 2020. It is imperative that we remain diligent in our responsibility to keep our players, coaches, staff members and their families safe and help slow the spread of the virus.”
The Chicago Bears also reacted with a statement posted to their team website:
“The Chicago Bears are continuing to monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and consulting with team medical staff, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Football League. As a result and an extreme safety measure, the club has suspended business air travel for team personnel and postponed draft prospect visits to Halas Hall until further notice. In addition, the club has temporarily closed both office locations and asked employees to work remotely on Friday, March 13. Further staffing and travel decisions will be made as we continue to monitor the fluid situation. The health and safety of our players, coaches and all staff is our utmost priority.”
The Bears have also canceled their draft party, which was scheduled for Friday, April 24 at Soldier Field. All fans who purchased tickets to the draft party will receive an email for a full refund. The move came after Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker announced at a news conference that he was mandating a ban on all gatherings of more than 1,000 people until May 1.
Also on Thursday, the NFL announced that it was canceling its annual spring meeting March 29-April 1 in Florida as well as the HBCU Combine and the Regional Combine Invitational, both of which were scheduled to be held March 27-29 at the Miami Dolphins training facility.