Report: MLB's Intake Testing for Coronavirus Produced 66 Positive Results

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2020

Balls marked with Cactus League spring training logos are seen in a basket during Kansas City Royals baseball practice at Kauffman Stadium Friday, July 3, 2020 in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

The MLBPA reportedly informed players Tuesday that the intake round of COVID-19 testing returned 66 positive results, split between 58 players and eight staff members, according to Marly Rivera of ESPN.  

A total of 3,740 tests were conducted. The second phase of testing—the "monitoring phase"—has begun, with the opening round of saliva tests coming back with 10 positive results (eight among players) from 2,111 tests. 

However, the testing protocols haven't gone completely smoothly since being implemented. The Washington Nationals, Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants were all forced to cancel workouts after they didn't receive test results back in time to safely proceed. 

Rivera reported that three other teams also altered their workout schedules for similar reasons. 

Nationals manager Mike Rizzo told Gabe Lacques of USA Today that he was unhappy with MLB's delay:

"Seventy-two hours later, we have yet to receive the results of those tests. We cannot have our players and staff work at risk. Therefore, we have canceled our team workout scheduled for this morning. We will not sacrifice the health and safety of our players, staff and their families. Without accurate and timely testing it is simply not safe for us to continue with Summer Camp. Major League Baseball needs to work quickly to resolve issues with their process and their lab. Otherwise, Summer Camp and the 2020 Season are at risk."

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Major League Baseball released the following statement in response to the delays:

Coronavirus prevention measures and protocols remain a complicated business for players, team staffs and the league alike as MLB attempts to resume play in unprecedented circumstances. Attempting to play amid a global pandemic—as positive cases spike around the United States—is a risk for the players and certainly a complex undertaking for all involved. 

That 98.2 percent of those tested came back negative in the first phase of testing and 99.5 percent in the second round is a good starting point in that regard, however. 

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