MLB and the MLBPA released the results of their initial intake testing this morning via a press release. Through July 9th, there have been 66 positive tests out of 3,748 samples. 58 of the positives were players, while the other 8 were staff members. Only 3 clubs did not have any instances of positive tests.
Teams have now moved into the monitoring phase of testing. With monitoring now underway, the new totals have 83 positive tests from a total 11,149 samples (0.7%). Not included in the press release was the total number of individuals tested. Players and staff alike are being tested multiple times, and while it’s good to see such a low positive results rate, given the way this virus spreads, it would be apropos to know the total number of individuals being tested to get a sense of how much of the population is testing positive. The process, of course, is a work in progress. Here’s the latest from the MLB’s attempts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic…
- A number of teams had to shift their plans as test results have come in slower than anticipated. This garnered criticism from some players – notably Kris Bryant – and prompted MLB to look for a second site. Needless to say, timing is key with these tests, and any testing backlog threatens the system the sport established to protect player and staff safety. MLB has secured a second site for testing, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal provides this quote from a league spokesperson: “This decision was not made because the Utah lab cannot handle all of the testing taking place. No clinical laboratory will process samples faster than the Utah laboratory. This decision by the Utah lab was a business decision to ensure continuity of results reporting and to make sure that MLB’s COVID-19 testing program is not interrupted for any reason.” The Utah-based lab that MLB uses as its primary testing site subcontracted its additional venue at Rutgers University. All of the results will continue to come from the Utah site even though a portion of the testing will be diverted to the Rutgers location.
- Major League Baseball recently chartered two flights from the Dominican Republic to Miami to bring players and staff members stateside for the start of Spring Training 2.0. But players and staff weren’t tested for coronavirus before boarding the planes, and even though passengers wore masks and socially distanced on board, players on both planes tested positive during intake testing, per Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post. Over 160 people were present on the two flights. A number of Washington Nationals players present on these flights tests positive, though they were asymptomatic. MLB says it was protecting the Dominican healthcare system, trying not to divert their resources. Still, considering the dangers of the virus, to board those two planes without testing is a little fast and loose for an organization with such deep pockets like Major League Baseball. If they are truly committed to this reboot, instances like this don’t present the best optics.