The Phillies last Friday announced that five players and three staff members — all of whom had been at their Clearwater, Fla. facility — had tested positive for the coronavirus. At the time of the announcement, the Phillies indicated that 32 more tests were still pending results. Of that bunch, two more players and two staff members also tested positive, the Phillies announced today, bringing their total to a dozen cases. One of today’s positive tests was from a player at “a location other than Clearwater.” The rest of those pending tests were negative.
Over the weekend, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that 40 players and staff members throughout the league tested positive for the coronavirus just last week. These additional positive results from the Phillies appear to add to that total.
Word of the latest group of positive tests was announced as the MLBPA pores over the league’s health and safety protocols and prepares to offer a response within the next four hours. The league asked for a reply by 5pm ET today. The wave of positive tests throughout the sport won’t prevent the league from attempting to orchestrate a 60-game season, but the manner in which MLB and the Players Association are planning to both address and hopefully minimize positive results, to this point, is largely unknown.
Some of the precautions the league plans to take — daily temperature checks, testing multiple times per week, barring players from spitting, high-fiving, etc. — have come to light. However, the procedures that will be in place for positive tests when the inevitably do occur have been kept closer to the vest. Details on those protocols, crucial to the chances of playing out a 2020 season, figure to emerge late this afternoon and perhaps into tomorrow, depending on the MLBPA’s response to the league’s proposal.