MLB has 0.3% positive COVID-19 rate during intake testing

NEW YORK (AP) — Thirteen of 4,336 tests for COVID-19 were positive during intake for Major League Baseball’s spring training, a rate of 0.3%

The commissioner’s office said Friday that nine positive samples involved players and four involved staff. Positive tests included 11 of the 30 teams.

After the intake screening, there were no new positives among 2,298 monitoring test samples. Samples thus far totaled 6,634.

All players on 40-man rosters and players with minor league contracts invited to big league training camp are screened. Also tested are all other on-field personnel such as managers, coaches and athletic trainers, strength and conditioning staff and physicians.

Team owner, front office management, communications staff, groundskeepers, clubhouse and travel staff and ballpark operations employees who require access to restricted areas also are screened.

All individuals tested were required to maintain a five-day at-home quarantine and undergo screening that included a PCR test, antibody test and contactless temperature check.

Before Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner tested positive during the sixth and final game of the World Series last Oct. 27, MLB said four days earlier that players had gone 54 consecutive days without any positive tests.

In the final figures released last year, MLB said it had collected 172,740 samples and that 91 had been positive, or 0.05%. Fifty-seven of 91 positives have been players, and 21 of the 30 teams have had a person covered by the monitoring test positive.

MLB and the players’ association combined to spend about $35 million on COVID-19 testing and rules last year during pre-season training, which started July 1, the delayed and shortened 60-game season, and the expanded 16-team playoffs.

There were 45 regular-season games postponed for COVID-19-related reasons last year but just two were not made up, between St. Louis and Detroit.

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