The Phillies announced four more COVID-positive test results on Tuesday
This past Friday, the Philadelphia Phillies entered national headlines — but not for the reason they would have liked. They became the first Major League Baseball team to report having COVID-positive players.
Amid then still ongoing between MLB and the MLBPA, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury reported that five Phillies who were training at the team’s Clearwater, Florida, facility — as well as three staff members — tested positive for coronavirus. Salisbury reported that the organization was still waiting for a “significant number” of more test results — 32, 20 players and 12 staff.
On Tuesday, those results were announced. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Scott Lauber, one additional player and two other staff members tested positive for the virus at their spring training facility, which they closed on Friday before the rest of the league’s teams did the same for their respective facilities. Also, the organization revealed that one additional player tested positive in a location other than Clearwater.
According to The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, the Phillies are “testing players multiple times while doing contact tracing.”
Due to medical privacy laws, identities of those infected have not been released. In summary, there are 11 infected employees — six players and five staff — that tested COVID-19 positive in Clearwater, not including the player that came down with the virus elsewhere.
“For the Phillies player who tested positive elsewhere, it’s unrelated to the Clearwater outbreak and is considered a separate one-off occurrence,” The Athletic’s Meghan Montemurro writes.
Despite learning of the Phillies’ COVID-positive cases, MLB and the MLBPA continued their negotiations up until Monday evening, when the league announced it will proceed forward with a season.
Given Florida has recently been in the news for showing signs it could be the next “coronavirus epicenter” as cases spike across the U.S., as well as Arizona also showing an increase in cases, all Major League teams will resume spring training at their home cities.
Salisbury reported on Tuesday that the Phillies will likely also utilize their Triple-A affiliate’s facility in Lehigh Valley to help spread players out amid the ongoing pandemic.