Two Nationals players tested positive for COVID-19, manager Davey Martinez said Sunday. Martinez did not identify the players.
He did say the positive tests were the result of testing conducted July 1 during the team’s initial intake testing and the players have not returned to the park since then.
The Nationals are also awaiting more results after 58 players took intake tests. There are still outstanding test results for Latin American players who arrived late to summer camp.
“Everybody assumed that everybody (that) got in got tested on Wednesday,” Martinez said. “That wasn’t the case for us. We still got guys out there that came in late and are still waiting on the results. I think being — this weekend, things were a little tough because it was a holiday weekend. So hopefully we’ll get all these results tomorrow and guys will start trickling in and get ready to work out.”
Major League Baseball reported a 1.2 percent positive rate from its initial league-wide tests, well below the rolling seven-day national average of 7.4. However, more players, including Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman, have now also tested positive.
Sean Doolittle cited multiple concerns Sunday. He said his results from Friday -- as part of MLB’s every-other-day testing -- still were not back by mid-day, though he had been tested again Sunday. The time lag for results is becoming a consistent theme in the sport.
“We’ve got to clean that up,” Doolittle said.
Also, underlying health conditions have often been cited as a key concern during the pandemic. Martinez underwent a heart procedure last fall, which puts him at a higher risk while he watches over his players.
“As we all know, I’m definitely at a little bit of a risk, but I’m doing everything I can to stay healthy,” Martinez said. “I wash my hands 47 times a day. I wear my mask everywhere. I leave here with gloves on. I’m going to do everything I can to stay healthy. The biggest part of that is not to get anybody else sick, in case I do come up with it. I don’t want to get anybody sick. I worry about that more than I worry about me getting sick. I just want to make sure I’m healthy and everybody else stays healthy.”
The two players who tested positive are the first positive cases in the organization since an employee tested positive in April.
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