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COVID-19 outbreak has Cowboys heading into Thursday's game without coach Mike McCarthy, among others

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy tested positive for COVID-19 Monday. He is fully vaccinated and so is the entire Cowboys coaching staff.

DALLAS — The news about Dallas Cowboys' coach Mike McCarthy testing positive for COVID-19 broke about an hour after his weekly interview with 105.3 The Fan Monday morning.

It appeared McCarthy didn't know the results of his test yet.

"We were 100% negative yesterday so we are hoping for the same goal today so nothing has changed since yesterday's report,” said McCarthy.

But shortly after that the Cowboys announced McCarthy was on the COVID-19 list, along with more than half a dozen coaches. During the interview McCarthy talked about the challenges of COVID-19.

"We can do the best we can with the COVID challenge and take all the precautions. I think our players have done an excellent job and taking the extra step. Me personally I've moved into a hotel room in the last couple of days,” said McCarthy.

The Cowboys had said McCarthy was vaccinated and so was the entire coaching staff. Medical experts say it’s not unusual to have a breakout of COVID-19 even among the vaccinated.

"This is not surprising and while the vaccine remains very effective, it's most effective in preventing severe disease. We are certainly seeing infections and transmissions in fully vaccinated people,” said Dr. Todd Ellerin, South Shore Health, infectious disease director.

The NFL requires weekly testing for vaccinated players and coaches and daily testing for those unvaccinated, but this week because of Thanksgiving, the NFL mandated testing for all players the Monday and Wednesday after the holiday and mandatory mask wearing for all players and staff while inside club facilities through Dec. 1.

"Just like it's a team sport to win football games, it’s a team sport to protect each other against COVID,” said Dr. Ellerin.

If someone on the team is vaccinated, they can come back if they get two negative tests within 24 hours, but if they are unvaccinated, they have to sit out 10 days.

The Cowboys are crossing their fingers no one else on the team tests positive on Wednesday. 

Wide receiver Amari Cooper is expected to play this week after having to sit out the past two games after testing positive for COVID. He is unvaccinated.