Due to concerns about the coronavirus, the Bears on Thursday announced that they have suspended business air travel for team personnel, postponed draft prospect visits and will close their offices at Halas Hall and in Chicago on Friday.
Here is the complete statement:
"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 cancelled 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 cancelling 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.
Other NFL teams that have announced they are suspending travel for their scouts and coaches include the Redskins, Jets, Falcons, Bills, Lions, Jaguars, Chiefs, Chargers, Dolphins, Vikings, Giants, 49ers and Buccaneers.
The Broncos, Eagles and Texans are among the teams that have instructed staff members to work from home.
Concerns about the coronavirus have greatly impacted the sports world. The NBA, NHL and XFL have suspended their seasons, the NCAA cancelled its men's and women's basketball tournaments, and Major League Baseball cancelled the rest of spring training and delayed the opening of its season at least two weeks.