The Nationals canceled workouts Monday, citing the “health and safety” of their players and staff while waiting for the results from last Friday’s coronavirus tests.
“Per MLB’s protocol, all players and staff were tested for Covid-19 on Friday, July 3rd. Seventy-two hours later, we have yet to receive the results of those tests,” general manager Mike Rizzo said in his statement. “We cannot have our players and staff work at risk. Therefore, we have canceled our team workout scheduled for this morning. We will not sacrifice the health and safety of our players, staff and their families.
“Without accurate and timely testing it is simply not safe for us to continue with Summer Camp. Major League Baseball needs to work quickly to resolve issues with their process and their lab. Otherwise, Summer Camp and the 2020 season are at risk.”
The Nationals have shut down training until they receive the test results. Once they come in, the club will decide how to move forward.
On Sunday, manager Dave Martinez said two players out of 60 tested positive for the coronavirus. He said both players were tested last Wednesday before arriving at Nationals Park for summer camp. All MLB clubs began workouts last Friday after players passed intake screening for the virus.
Despite widespread testing, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle expressed frustration Sunday with the coronavirus safety resources available to his team.
“We need help to make this work. Faster test results, PPE for high-risk individuals and players/staff with high-risk family members. The individual efforts have been great so far but we can’t rely solely on individuals. The efforts have to be structural as well.”
Reports of positive tests from MLB players continue to arise after teams like the Braves, Twins, Red Sox, Cardinals and more announced their results over the weekend. Doolittle said he is still deciding whether to play this season. If he chooses to opt-out, he’d join several other players who have already chosen to sit out the season out due to COVID-19 concerns.
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