LAKE FOREST – Like most employers around the country, the Chicago Bears are taking no chances with their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After banning air travel for personnel and in-person visits by draft prospects to Halas Hall facility in Lake Forest, the team took it another step further on Monday.
With the recommendation by the CDC to prevent public gatherings of over 50 people for the next eight weeks, the Bears have decided to close their offices at Halas Hall and two locations in Chicago – Soldier Field and 123 North Wacker Street.
All employees, including coaches for the team, have been instructed to work from home. Only a small staff will be kept back at the facilities for the time being.
With the NFL free agency period underway, the team has also decided not to hold traditional news conferences for new players, adhering to the CDC’s recommendations. Any introductory interviews will be held through teleconference until further notice.
With that ban on gatherings over 50, it’s very likely a number of the Bears’ team offseason activities will be delayed. Rookie mini-camp was scheduled to take place from May 8-10 with OTA workouts slated for May 27-29, June 2-4, and June 8-11.
Veteran mini-camp is scheduled from June 16-18, with the team taking a month break before returning to Halas Hall for training camp. This will be the first time since 1983 that the team will hold their full preseason workouts in Lake Forest.