Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Players Association (MLBA) on Friday jointly announced the results of the latest round of coronavirus (COVID-19) testing as Opening Day for the 2020 regular season quickly approaches. Of the 10,548 samples collected and tested, six have been new positives for COVID-19, which comes to a rate of 0.05 percent. Of the six positive tests, five were players and one was a non-player personnel.
Here are some additional numbers released by MLB about testing:
- There was a five-day period in the last week without any new positives.
- There have been 93 total positive tests since MLB began intake testing in late June. Eighty of those positives have been from players.
- Twenty-eight different teams have had at least one positive test.
MLB released its first batch of test results on July 3 with a 1.2 percent positive rate. There have been some issues with teams getting results on time during the testing process, and the coronavirus still poses a serious threat to the 2020 season. But Friday's test results are a good sign of the health and safety protocols working, at least for now before teams begin traveling.
MLB is set to begin its 60-game 2020 season with a pair of games on Thursday, July 23. A traditional Opening Day will take place on July 24, a Friday, with a 14-game schedule (the Yankees and Nationals are off). Teams will play "regional" schedules in 2020. They'll face the other four teams in their division 10 times each and play 20 games against the interleague teams in their region (ex: teams in the NL East will face AL East teams). The 60-game regular season sprint is set to finish on Sunday, Sept. 27.
Given the potential short- and long-term health and safety risks being taken by those involved in a 2020 season, MLB and the MLBPA agreed on COVID-19 guidelines which include the allowance of high-risk players to opt out of the 2020 season. High-risk would include people who have heart disease, lung disease, cancer, high blood pressure, or diabetes. So far, 13 total players have opted out.