Patriots don’t believe they have an outbreak

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The Titans and Patriots have had multiple players test positive in recent days for COVID-19. The Titans, with well over 20 total positives, clearly are undergoing an outbreak. The Patriots don’t believe they are.

And for good reason. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Patriots don’t believe Saturday’s positive result generated by Byron Cowart happened at the facility, since the team wasn’t there from Friday, October 2 through Friday, October 9.

The team believes that Cowart could have caught it from teammate Stephon Gilmore (who caught it away from work at dinner with Cam Newton) in the “dinky” locker room in Kansas City last Monday night, or that he caught it away from the facility.

Because the league’s protocols don’t entail a home-market bubble or clear and strict prohibitions on interactions with family members, guests, teammates (players are now prohibited from gathering in groups of three or more), players can — and will — get COVID-19 away from the facility, and it may never be spread within a given facility.

Time will tell whether the Patriots have more positive results. Until there’s a bubble or more stringent off-duty limitations on movement, the Patriots and all other teams will be at risk for more positives arising not from an outbreak but from community spread of a virus that continues to spread through every community.