TODAY: The Nationals have no new positive cases from their latest round of testing, per the Athletic’s Britt Ghiroli (via Twitter). The Nationals continue to work towards hosting the Braves on Monday, but no official announcement has yet been made.
4:55pm: Three Nationals players have tested positive, and the Nats are awaiting another test from a player that is likely positive, Rizzo told Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic and other reporters (Twitter link). Rizzo said one of those players has a fever, but the rest are asymptomatic. The entire team is now self-quarantining, Nightengale tweets. It’s unclear whether the Nats and Mets will play at all this weekend.
10:45am: Despite a previously scheduled off-day on Friday, the Nats and Mets will not make up their game tomorrow, tweets Olney. Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears the same, adding that the league prefers to exercise extreme caution, particularly given that the additional early off-days in the schedule and the two teams’ geographic proximity makes it easier to reschedule the opener.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that the Nats are awaiting official confirmation from a follow-up test, but initial results from the latest wave of tests did reveal a second positive among their players.
10:15am: Tonight’s season-opening contest between the Nationals and the Mets has been postponed due to Covid-19 related issues, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports (Twitter link). The Nats were known to be down five players as of yesterday, due to one positive test from a player and five close contacts (four players, one staffer).
Nats general manager Mike Rizzo said yesterday that his club was expecting to make a series of corresponding roster moves and play as scheduled. That, apparently, will not be the case. ESPN’s Jeff Passan tweets that there are concerns about “at least one more” positive test among the Nationals this morning.
The names of the player or players who tested positive aren’t known, although some of the roster moves that had been planned by the Nationals had come to light. The Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty reported last night that outfielder Yadiel Hernandez, infielder Luis Garcia and lefty Sam Clay were all ticketed for the Majors (Twitter links), while FanSided’s Robert Murray added that catcher Tres Barrera was in line to be added to the big league club as well.
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.