Bears awaiting clarity on their COVID-19 situation after Cody Whitehair tests positive

The Bears are trying to avoid an outbreak after two players tested positive this week.

(670 The Score) The Bears on Thursday afternoon were still waiting for clarity about what's next regarding their COVID-19 situation after closing Halas Hall for the day after another player tested positive for the virus.

The Bears received notice early Thursday morning that center Cody Whitehair had tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a report. Those results hadn't yet been confirmed as of late afternoon, but individuals identified as close contacts entered self-isolation. The Bears kept players and staff away from Halas Hall and conducted their work virtually. The building will receive a deep cleaning, coach Matt Nagy said.

The Bears weren't going to have clarity about how to move forward until the results of Whitehair's tests were confirmed. Should those results confirm a positive test, the Bears must place Whitehair and players deemed as close contacts on the COVID-19 reserve list.

"We're just waiting for answers," Nagy said. "That's all we can really do."

Nagy first learned of the Bears' positive test Thursday morning when he received a phone call from head athletic trainer Andre Tucker, the team's infection control officer. The Bears then informed close contacts to Whitehair that he had received a positive test result.

The Bears had gathered for meetings Thursday morning inside the Walter Payton Center, where players are intentionally spaced out by 20 feet to ensure proper social distancing. Once the Bears learned of Whithair's positive test, they sent players home and Nagy informed the team of the situation through Zoom. The Bears had already been conducting position group meetings virtually to avoid a potential outbreak within a position group.

The Bears hope to have further details on their virus situation by Friday morning and will formulate their plan from there. The team didn't place Whitehair or any players on the COVID-19 reserve list Thursday. Should the test result be confirmed as positive, the Bears could be lose a number of players and personnel deemed close contacts to Whitehair.

Nagy declined to offer a number for how many pending close contacts have been identified. He added he's not considered a close contact.

The Bears placed tackle Jason Spriggs on the COVID-19 reserve list Tuesday after he tested positive. Guard Germain Ifedi was also placed on that list because he was deemed to be a close contact to Spriggs.

It's unclear whether Whitehair, who has been batting a calf injury, came in contact with Spriggs. Whitehair didn't practice Wednesday.

Chicago's game at Tennessee on Sunday remains on schedule -- for now. The Bears are scheduled to travel to Nashville on Saturday afternoon. The NFL has previously rescheduled games to Monday or Tuesday in order to create more time to confirm statuses with the virus, so the possibility remains the game could be moved.

"You don't know what you're going to get into this year," Nagy said. "It's too hard. No coach has any idea. No player has any idea. I think that's where you've got to have some resolve. That's where you've got to have your teamwork with your coaches, support staff and and players. That word 'trust' is huge right now.

"As long as they know the why and they know what’s going on, they feel a lot better. They feel a lot more comfortable with coming into the building. They feel a lot more comfortable with knowing that they trust you. That’s the most important part right now. They just want to understand everything."

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

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