WASHINGTON – Opening day in between Citizens i New York Mets was delayed for hours before it was due to begin Thursday night due to coronavirus concerns after at least three players from Washington tested positive for COVID-19.
State CEO Mike Rizzo said in a video conference with reporters that his team also has a fourth player who is considered “probably positive”. He did not identify any of the players involved.
“Mostly the whole team was – we put them – in lock and they are quarantined,” Rizzo said.
He said it is not known when the game will prepare for the season opener – except that it will not be played on Friday, originally set as a day off to allow for makeup competition if there were problems with Game 1, such as rain. The next match between the two teams is scheduled for Saturday at 16:05 ET.
“It’s a shame we can’t play today, but we have to stay positive. I’ve talked to a lot of players and I’m worried about their health and safety,” said Washington manager Dave Martinez. “I will continue to contact them to make sure they are well. We will go through this.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve gone down rough roads. We’ve been there and we’ll come back from this and play baseball.”
Rizzo said one of the players who had positive tests had a fever, while the others had no COVID-19 symptoms.
On Wednesday, Rizzo announced an initial positive test for coronavirus disease. He said it was the result of testing done Monday, while citizens were still in Florida for spring training.
He then said that it was believed that four other players were in close contact and that they were in quarantine. Two of those players had positive tests after testing on Wednesday, and the other had an unconvincing sample that was treated as likely positive.
The search for contacts continued, Rizzo said, to see who else might have been exposed.
The Mets practiced at Nationals Park on Thursday, with pitchers throwing live stoppers.
“It’s sad. There are things that are still happening in the world. To be honest, it wasn’t a surprise. We’ve been in situations like this since last year,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. “Health is the number one thing that is still in the world. We take care of ourselves. Everyone wears their mask everywhere. We do everything we have to.”
Rizzo said he wasn’t sure how the team’s outbreak started.
“I have the greatest confidence that this is not a player who violates the protocol. We were very diligent throughout the spring training. The day we landed in DC was the day we got the first positive,” he said. “It’s just speculation about what happened and when it happened, and we don’t want to get into it. This is serious business. It’s about people’s health and these players are obviously very important to me and our organization.”
The team flight from Florida to Washington after spring training was where there was close contact between players and staff.
Max Scherzer, who was scheduled to play for Nationale on Thursday night, said he was not on the team ‘s flight and traveled separately with his family.
Citizens did not test positive for any player during the six-week spring training camp in West Palm Beach, Florida, according to Rizz.
He said the team will also follow Major League baseball protocols and DC quarantine protocols.
According to MLB’s health and safety protocols for 2021, any player who tests positive will need to be isolated for at least 10 days, receive appropriate care and supervision from the club’s medical staff and be approved by a joint COVID-19 board and baseball team doctor. an individual after a mandatory heart examination and determining that the individual no longer poses a risk of infection to others.
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers and Associated Press contributed to this report.