Mariners’ COVID-19 intake screenings produce 3 positive tests out of 122
The Mariners have announced the results of their initial COVID-19 intake screening, tests of which players were required to pass before being allowed to report for Summer Camp. The intake screening consisted of a temperature check, a saliva or nasal swab for diagnostic/PCR testing and a blood test for antibodies.
Of the 122 Tier 1 and Tier 2 players and staff who were tested, three tested positive, all of whom were asymptomatic and are currently being quarantined. Those individuals will need to follow a series of protocols which will include passing two tests before they are allowed to join the team.
With players and staff arriving from all around the country and the troubles some organizations have experienced with testing in the last week, general manager Jerry Dipoto believes the Mariners are getting started on the right note.
“We have been very fortunate in the fact that, to this point, we are particularly healthy,” Dipoto told members of the media Wednesday afternoon at T-Mobile Park. “We’re obviously not completely healthy, which is consistent with the 30 teams in the league, but we’re very encouraged by what this means for the Mariners, and just trying to familiarize ourselves with how to make sure that remains the case as best we can.”
Earlier Wednesday, ESPN reported that the the initial intake process for all of MLB yielded 3,674 negative results (98.2%) out of 3,740 tests, with 58 players and eight staff members testing positive. The league had previously announced partial results from the intake testing.
With the intake process complete, baseball now moves into the “monitoring phase” where players are tested every other day. ESPN reports the first round of tests from the “monitoring phase” included 2,111 saliva tests with 10 positive results, with 99.5% of the tests coming back negative.
The results come amid problems that have occurred in processing the tests, with five teams canceling workouts this week and another three moving them to later in the day as they awaited results. MLB addressed these issues in a statement issued Monday.
The Mariners were able to avoid these problems by getting their players in and tested as early as possible. In addition to following the protocols outlined in the health and safety handbook, the team has looked to limit exposure while in camp by splitting the 60-man roster into a morning and afternoon group with no player at T-Mobile Park for more than five hours in a day.
While the process appears to be moving smoothly so far for the Mariners, the logistical errors that have impacted other teams in getting test results back need to be remedied in order for players to have confidence in the program’s ability to help keep them safe. It has been noted by numerous players around the league that without that confidence there will be more opt-outs and the season could be put in jeopardy.
With the initial testing complete the real test for the MLB/MLBPA health and safety protocol now begins. Everyone who has taken part in Summer Camp has passed tests, and protocols are being followed in the building. Can they continue to keep the disease out of the facilities or contain it quickly as more test positive? That will depend largely on what happens when players are away from from the park. If the players want to play, not to mention keep those around them safe, it is on them to maintain safe practices away from the field.