Fifty-eight Major League Baseball players tested positive for the coronavirus upon reporting to their team, while an additional 13 tested positive after workouts began, according to data released by MLB on Friday.
Perhaps most disconcerting is that 10 teams reported positive test results during what MLB is calling “monitoring testing,” meaning one-third of the league’s teams had an infected player or staff member after workouts began last week.
As the sport aims to return amid rising tides of coronavirus infections and COVID-19 related deaths nationwide, MLB required its players to test negative before joining workouts that began July 3. In that round of testing, 66 positive results – 58 players and eight staffers – were reported among 3,748 samples, a 1.8% positivity rate.
During “monitoring testing,” players and on-field personnel are to be tested every other day and staffers at least twice a week. Thus far, 13 players and four staff members produced positive tests out of 7,401 tests.
The positive tests and results don’t paint a full picture of the coronavirus within the sport. Dozens of players tested positive before reporting for intake testing, while the number of tests reported in monitoring don’t yet reflect all results from tests administered.
MLB and its teams are not releasing the names of players who test positive without their consent. So far, 43 players have self-identifed as testing positive, with at least two of those already returning to their teams after producing two consecutive negative tests.
Several teams have had workouts halted or curtailed while awaiting test results, and besides those testing positive, players who have come in contact with those testing positive have been temporarily sidelined, as well.