A day after the Mets postponed the Washington season opening game because of a coronavirus outbreak at the Nationals, Major League Baseball postponed the teams’ three-game weekend series on Friday. The league said it needed more time for follow-up testing and contact tracing after four Nationals players tested positive this week.
The Mets will play their first game of the season on Monday in Philadelphia, a few hours after the Nationals are due to host the Atlanta Braves. The baseball officials hope the Nationals will be cleared for play by then, as long as their players continue to test negative during the sacking.
If the Nationals start on Monday, their list will be severely damaged. The players who test positive cannot return until at least 10 days after their positive tests, and those who are in close contact will have to miss at least seven days. The Nationals could fill these squads with players from their minor league system.
For MLB, the outbreaks continue last summer the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals stressed the importance of contact tracing in containing the spread of the virus. Players will now get wearable devices to identify close contacts.
Baseball officials said Friday that the league ran 14,354 tests last week, with only four positive results – three Nationals players and one employee who is not with the Nationals – as of Thursday. A fourth Washington player tested positive on Friday.
Since the beginning of the spring training, MLB has carried out 92,896 tests – count monitoring and entrance examination – and found a total of 38 positive results (28 players and 10 employees), which corresponds to a positive rate of 0.04 percent.