A day after a pair of positive tests from Cardinals players forced their scheduled Friday night game against the Milwaukee Brewers to be postponed, at least four additional members of St. Louis’ traveling party have tested positive, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Just one of the new positive tests is from a player, per Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal.
Major League Baseball announced the postponement of Saturday’s game as well as Sunday’s doubleheader. The Cardinals will play four games against the Tigers in Detroit from Tuesday-Thursday, including a Wednesday doubleheader, the league announced. Each club will serve as the home team for two games each at Comerica Park. The Brewers, meanwhile, will play this week’s home-and-home series against the Chicago White Sox as scheduled.
The obvious concern is that the Cardinals outbreak will not be limited to who has tested positive as of Saturday. The Miami Marlins had four players test positive last weekend, and that number grew to 18 over the course of the week. The CDC estimates that COVID-19’s incubation process can span from two to 14 days, with the median time being five days. New infections, then, are recorded on a lag.
Major League Baseball’s season was believed to be endangered entering the weekend, based on comments commissioner Rob Manfred made to union head Tony Clark. ESPN’s Jeff Passan suggested the season could be scrapped as soon as Monday. Another team-wide outbreak, or even the suspicion of one, within 10 days’ time might leave Manfred with no other choice.
Another concern is whether the Cardinals spread the disease to the Minnesota Twins, their opponents and hosts earlier this week. The Twins have not had anyone test positive, and were on the field both Thursday and Friday nights for games against Cleveland. If there is good news in that regard, it’s that team-to-team transmission during a game seems unlikely.
Based on what’s known about how COVID-19 transmits, the highest risk endeavors entail individuals spending a prolonged period at intimate distances amid a crowd in an enclosed or poorly ventilated setting. In other words, not outside on the field, where players are largely spaced out and are seldom near each other for lengthy periods.
The Philadelphia Phillies, who played a series against the Marlins, have not yet had a player test positive, the team announced on Saturday. They had a clubhouse attendant and a coach test positive, however.