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38 positive COVID-19 tests among MLB players and staffers

Pregame autographs during a spring training game on

Pregame autographs during a spring training game on March 4, 2020. Credit: AP/Carlos Osorio

It sure seems as if that could have gone much worse.

A total of 31 players and seven staff members out of nearly 3,200 people — a rate of 1.2% — tested positive for COVID-19 during intake testing conducted by all Major League Baseball clubs as Spring Training II officially gets underway 

MLB and the Players Association, who warred in public for well over a month regarding the length of schedule to be played during the coronavirus pandemic, announced the test results in a joint news release late Friday afternoon.

According to the release, 3,185 samples were collected and tested this past week, the first week of intake testing. Positive tests occurred among 19 of the 30 big-league teams.

Those who tested positive were not identified and will not be identified per HIPAA laws, though individuals can disclose their results, as can teams if given permission by the player or staff member. For instance, Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti announced Friday that outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. had tested positive.

At least at the outset, MLB appears to be more fortunate than other sports.

The NBA, for example, reported a 5.3% rate of positive tests (16 of 302) for its players on June 26. That number grew to 25 out of 351 (7.1%) on Thursday. MLS announced a positive rate of 2.7% (18 of 668) among players.

New York Sports