SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – Major League Baseball begins its shortened season on July 23 in empty ballparks. The opening is happening as two more people in the Giants organization have tested positive for COVID-19 following mandatory club testing.
“We have several individuals responsible for conducting our contact tracing, we’re taking that seriously and ensuring that our camp is as safe as possible,” said manager Gabe Kapler.
Over the holiday weekend, a major testing snafu forced multiple teams, including the Oakland A’s to cancel or delay their workouts. The team was able to hold a closed one Monday evening.
Moving forward the MLB plans to start regular, every other day testing for players. Results will come out of one lab in Utah.
“Testing every few days is going to give people more confidence, but there are going to be challenges associated with that like getting back the test in time, the scale,” said UCSF infectious disease specialist Peter Chin-Hong. “Because spring training is not like a full season, so I think it’s a nice test run.”
Chin-Hong said even with strict safety protocols and social distancing measures, the club ???
“Every place that the team has to go from – departure, in-air, landing, transfer to hotel, transfer to practice, transfer to the sporting ground – they’re all high-risk environments,” he said.
SF Giants catcher Buster Posey, who sported a mask at Oracle Park over the weekend, said he may sit out this season.
“I think there’s still some reservation on my end, as well,” Posey said. “I want to see how things progress here over the next couple of weeks. It would be a little bit naive or silly not to gauge what’s going on around you.”
Right now, the fans are doing the same.
“I’d love to be able to watch the game even if I could watch it on TV, that’d be excellent,” said Katherine Scanlon of San Francisco. “But I understand why they don’t want fans at the game and they’re being smart about it.”