12:16pm: Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo tells reporters that the fourth suspected positive has indeed been confirmed (Twitter links via Jesse Dougherty and Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post). The organization currently has 10 individuals in quarantine: the four positive cases and six (five players, one staff member) impacted by contact tracing.
11:23am: Major League Baseball announced Friday that it is postponing the entire weekend series between the Nationals and the Mets to allow for additional testing and contact tracing in the wake of multiple positive Covid-19 tests among the Nationals’ roster. At least three Nationals players tested positive leading up to Opening Day, and the team is said to be awaiting definitive word on what it believes is a fourth positive test.
It would appear, then, that the Mets’ season opener will be pushed back to Monday in Philadelphia. It’s not clear when the Nationals will get underway at this time. The league’s press release indicates only that it will “continue to provide scheduling updates as available.” At the moment, the Nationals are scheduled to host the Braves in a three-game series beginning Monday before traveling to the West Coast to take on the Dodgers next Friday.
Under the league’s 2021 health and safety protocols, an individual who tests positive is subject to a 10-day quarantine period, while close contacts are subject to seven-day quarantines. The first positive test for the Nationals came Monday morning, although the result wasn’t learned by the club until early Wednesday. Details surrounding the additional positives and potential absences — including the identity of the players in question — remain unclear.