MLB's COVID-19 plan involves multiple tests per week; positive result would not suspend play, report says

Major League Baseball and the Players Association are currently in negotiations about a plan to start a modified 2020 season due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The two sides began talks after commissioner Rob Manfred held a Monday conference call with the league's 30 owners, who approved a restart proposal that would have the 2020 regular season begin an abbreviated 82-game schedule in early July.

According to Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal, the league is planning to implement a safety protocol in which all baseball personnel would be tested for coronavirus multiple times a week, with results available within about 24 hours. Diamond outlined more specifics of the plan, including that the league's proposal does not require quarantining players or automatically suspending play if a player tests positive.

MLB believes that it will be able to gain access to the tens of thousands of testing kits required for this plan without taking tests away from the frontline workers or hospitals, Diamond adds. This plan's safety measures are not as intensive as some of the other previously ideas the league had considered, like quarantining all required employees and players. More from Diamond:

MLB understands that the only way to guarantee complete safety for its employees is not to play at all in 2020. League officials acknowledge that until a vaccine arrives, virtually any idea they come up with will likely still mean that somebody within their ranks is infected at some point—and could expose others—at a time when there is still no proven effective treatment for Covid-19.

Instead, MLB is relying on players, coaches and umpires to use caution and limit their contact with others outside their workplace. Within the workplace, everyone would also maintain some level of social distancing to reduce the opportunities for transmission of the virus.

Under baseball's suggested strategy, the apparent goal is to be able to quickly spot and interrupt any contagion, thereby mitigating how many people get sick, not to prevent any single one of them from getting the virus while at work.

The health precautions proposed by the league will certainly be one of the major points in the 2020 season negotiations, joining the owners' request that the players take additional pay cuts to balance out the lost gate revenue

Katherine Acquavella joined CBS Sports in 2018. Her work has appeared in Yankees Magazine and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's Memories and Dreams magazine. She is a graduate of St. John's... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories