One Washington Nationals player has tested positive for COVID-19, general manager Mike Rizzo announced on Wednesday. Five others within the organization — four players and one staff member — were in close contact with the person that tested positive, RIzzo told reporters, including Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic.
Rizzo hinted that roster moves will be necessary in advance of their Opening Day matchup against the Mets,. That’s because those five players will be in quarantine. The player testing positive, per MLB health and safety protocols for 2021, must remain in quarantine for at least 10 days and then be cleared by baseball’s joint COVID-19 committee and the team physician following a cardiac examination. As of yet, the players in question have not been named.
Some additional context, via Dougherty:
Mike Rizzo says that the person who tested positive is a player and, after contract tracing — having flown on a team charter Monday evening — it was determined that five people had to quarantine. The Nationals have undergone PCR and rapid tests in the time since.
Rizzo also says that the Nationals are working with the league to determine what additional steps to take.
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While impressive progress is being made with vaccination rates across the country, COVID-19 variants are also presently spreading, which may account for some of the case surges we’re seeing. Likely, MLB as it enters the 2021 regular season will not be spared from those trends. In other words, the Nats’ announcement probably won’t be the last of this kind.