MLB says it won’t halt season if a player tests positive

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The NBA immediately suspended its season as soon as one player tested positive for COVID-19, and ever since then, questions have been raised about how pro sports leagues can begin again if a single player’s positive test would require every player exposed to that player to go into isolation. But Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says that won’t stop baseball from playing.

Manfred said on CNN that baseball has a plan in place to quarantine any player who tests positive, and test other players who were in contact with that player, but allow all those other players to keep playing as long as they test negative.

“What we will do is the positive individual will be removed from the rest of the group,” Manfred said, via the Houston Chronicle. “There will be quarantine arrangement in each facility and in each city, and then we’ll do contact tracing for the individuals we believe there was contact with, and we’ll do point of care testing for those individuals to minimize the likelihood that there is a spread.”

Manfred said medical experts told MLB that a full-scale 14-day quarantine of any player exposed to another player who tested positive is not necessary.

Realistically, baseball’s approach is going to have to be the approach that any pro sports league takes if it wants to get started again: If one player testing positive requires every single player on that player’s team, plus every single player on any team that has played against that player, to go into quarantine, it wouldn’t be feasible for a sports league to play its season. The NFL has not said how it would handle a player testing positive, but on that front, the NFL is likely to follow the lead of MLB.

6 responses to “MLB says it won’t halt season if a player tests positive

  1. In baseball you really don’t have to ever get that close to anyone. If there are no body in the stands the players can sit in the dugout. Get out there and play.

  2. Oh, so common sense? Well, they’ve tried everything else.

  3. >>Manfred said medical experts told MLB that a full-scale 14-day quarantine of any player exposed to another player who tested positive is not necessary.

    Of course it insn’t necessary. Its not like Covid19 is contagious, right?
    Just let the entire team get infected. Sounds liek a brilliant idea, right?

    All I can say is if one player gets it, it will spread to the rest of the team. But it might not spread to other teams.
    I don’t see how this is going to work.
    Ask Art Howe what he thinks.

  4. With regard to the risk of viral transfer, comparing baseball to football is like comparing a toy water pistol to a garden hose. The pistol may get someone a little wet, the garden hose can soak both entire teams to the skin. Baseball players don’t slam into other and wind up in a pile over and over again.

    Its not just about viral transfer, but about virus load, the amount of transfer needed to infect. Even the N95 mask worn by doctors only filter out 95% of the virus, unfortunately enough gets through to infect some of our medical professionals. A baseball player with a false negative test result may or may not transfer enough in tagging a runner out, a similarly tested football player certainly will infect others, probably many others, on both teams.

    Wishful thinking is how the United States got to be number 1 in the world in infections and number one in deaths. And yes, some third world country will surpass us but they’re third world countries, we’re the richest most technologically advanced country in the world. This should not be happening in this manner. All the proposed scenarios for “safely” opening up football involve lots of wishful thinking.

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