“Out of an abundance of caution, following one new positive test, we have made the decision to stop all in-person work at IBM Performance Field Thursday and will conduct all operations virtually,” the Falcons wrote in a one paragraph statement on their website. “This decision was made in consultation with the NFL and medical officials. The health and safety of our team is our highest priority.”
The Falcons did not identify who contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, neither by name nor by position with the team.
However, NFL.com quoted an unidentified source the positive test was for an assistant coach.
It added the team plans to resume practice at the training facility Friday barring further positive tests. The club placed rookie defensive tackle Marlon Davidson on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, but it was not clear if that was because of a positive test or because of potential exposure to the virus.
The New York Jets took similar precautions last week after a presumed positive test Friday. The Jets shut down for a day but still played their scheduled game against the Arizona Cardinals.
The 0-5 Falcons are scheduled to play the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. The NFL already has been forced to reschedule 12 games caused by postponements and delays due to positive tests of the novel coronavirus among team personnel.
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