Nine MLB Players, Four Employees Test Positive for COVID-19 During Initial Testing

NEW YORK – Thirteen of 4,336 tests for COVID-19 were positive during the entrance of Major League Baseball spring training, a rate of 0.3%

The commissioner’s office said Friday that nine positive samples involved players and four were staff members. Positive tests included 11 of the 30 teams.

After evaluation of the tests, there were no new positives among the 2298 monitoring test samples. So far, the samples totaled 6,634.

All players on a 40-man roster and players with minor league contracts invited to major league training camp are evaluated. Other personnel on the field, such as managers, athletic trainers and coaches, strength and conditioning personnel, and doctors, are also evaluated.

Equipment owners, front desk management, communications staff, groundskeepers, travel and clubhouse staff, and ballpark operations employees who require access to restricted areas are also screened.

All people screened were required to maintain a five-day home quarantine and undergo an evaluation that included a PCR test, an antibody test and a non-contact temperature control.

Before Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner tested positive during the sixth and final game of the World Series on October 27, MLB had said four days earlier that the players had gone 54 consecutive days without any positive tests.

In final figures released last year, MLB said it had collected 172,740 samples and 91 had been positive, or 0.05%. Fifty-seven of the 91 positives have been players, and 21 of the 30 teams have had a person covered by the positive follow-up test.

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The MLB and the players association combined to spend about $ 35 million on COVID-19 tests and rules last year during preseason training, which began July 1, the delayed and shortened 60-game season and the playoffs. 16 teams expanded.

Last year 45 regular-season games were postponed for reasons related to COVID-19, but only two failed to celebrate, both between St. Louis and Detroit.

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