C.J. Nitkowski, a television broadcaster covering the Texas Rangers for Fox Sports Southwest, tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, the team announced. The club says Nitkowski has "had no access to Tier 1 and 2 restricted areas or any other locations at Globe Life Field," meaning he has not been around players.
The broadcast level at Globe Life Field will be disinfected Thursday and everyone who had direct contact with Nitkowski will undergo testing, and is not allowed back into the ballpark without first testing negative, as per league protocols.
As for the club's television broadcast, the Rangers will simulcast their radio broadcast Thursday night. From the press release:
Out of an abundance of caution, FOX Sports Southwest and the Rangers have decided that all broadcast talent and crew who have had access to the television booth for the last several days will not work tonight's scheduled telecast versus the Houston Astros.
As a result, FOX Sports Southwest will carry the Texas Rangers radio network broadcast as a simulcast with Eric Nadel, Matt Hicks, and Jared Sandler on the call. FOX Sports Southwest expects to resume its television production for Friday night's game at the Los Angeles Angels.
Nitkowski is the first broadcaster known to have tested positive for COVID-19 since play resumed with summer camp in July. Broadcasters are not traveling with teams this year and are instead covering road games from monitors at the team's home ballpark.
Nitkowski, 47, played 10 years in the big leagues as a left-handed reliever prior to beginning his broadcasting career. He suited up for eight teams from 1996-2005, including the Rangers in 2002-03. He retired with a 5.37 ERA in 479 career innings.