Updates On Coronavirus Results, Testing Sites, Procedures

MLB and the MLBPA released the results of the initial intake testing today via a news release. Through July 9th, there has 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 cases of positive tests.

Teams have now moved into the monitoring phase of testing. With monitoring now underway, the brand new totals have 83 positive tests from the total 11,149 samples (0.7%). Not within the press release was the total amount of people tested. Players and staff alike are now being tested multiple times, even though it’s good to see such a low positive results rate, given just how this virus spreads, it will be apropos to understand the total amount of people being tested to get a sense of simply how much of the populace is testing positive. The process, obviously, is a work in progress. Here’s the latest from the MLB’s attempts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic…

  • A amount of teams had to shift their plans as test outcomes have come in slower than anticipated. This garnered criticism from some players – notably Kris Bryant – and prompted MLB to consider a second site. Needless to express, timing is key with one of these tests, and any testing backlog threatens the system the game established to safeguard player and staff safety.  MLB has secured a second site for testing, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal provides this quote from the 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 outcomes will continue steadily to come from the Utah site even though some of the testing will soon be diverted to the Rutgers location.
  • Major League Baseball recently chartered two flights from the Dominican Republic to Miami to create players and staff members stateside for the beginning 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 aboard, players on both planes tested positive during intake testing, per Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post. Over 160 people were present on both flights. Several Washington Nationals players present on these flights tests positive, though they were asymptomatic. MLB says it was protecting the Dominican healthcare system, trying never to divert their resources. Still, considering the dangers of the herpes virus, to board those two planes without testing is just a little fast and loose for a company with such deep pockets like Major League Baseball. If they truly are truly focused on this reboot, instances such as this don’t present the best optics.