Mayor Muriel Bowser

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Nationals say they have no new positive coronavirus tests

Nationals say they have no new positive coronavirus tests

The Washington Nationals do not have more positive coronavirus tests as of noon on Friday, despite some confusion following a press conference with Mayor Muriel Bowser and her staff.

Chris Rodriguez, Director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, was asked if the Nationals were in compliance with the District’s quarantine protocol after Juan Soto’s positive test result was announced Thursday morning.

“When we issued the waiver to the Nationals, the first waiver was on June 30, then a follow-up letter on July 16 where we clarified our requirements, the requirements of D.C. health,” Rodriguez said Friday. “I can’t speak to a specific case, but to date, the Nationals have been in compliance with our requirements. For each case, the positive cases are reported to the D.C. Department of Health.”

RELATED: JUAN SOTO TESTS NEGATIVE FOR COVID-19 AFTER PREVIOUSLY TESTING POSITIVE

Confusion followed when Rodriguez was asked if Soto was the only case the team reported to the city. The organization is required to report all positive tests to the city.

“It’s not the only case,” Rodriguez said.

Which is a known fact. The Nationals previously reported two positive tests. But, the generic language, and subsequent lack of context via reports on social media, made it sound like the Nationals may have new positive tests since Soto.

A Nationals spokesperson said they have no new positive tests.

The Nationals are working under a waiver as an “essential business” in order to participate in the 2020 Major League Baseball season within District boundaries. The mayor announced a new 14-day self-quarantine order Friday for those who were coming to Washington from “high-risk areas,” though it will not apply to the Nationals -- or those coming to Nationals Park -- because they are operating under an “essential business” waiver.

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D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser non-committal on RFK stadium site despite Washington's name change

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser non-committal on RFK stadium site despite Washington's name change

In a press conference on Monday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser reiterated her interest in having Washington's football team move into the nation's capital but didn't seem especially inspired by their earlier announcement that the "Redskins" name and logo will soon be fully retired.

In taking a question about how an impending name change could affect the franchise's chances of securing the RFK site, Bowser stuck to her long-held talking points.

"We want to change the name and change the location," she said. "You've heard me say that a number of times, that the Washington football team should be playing in Washington."

RELATED: ESPN'S MAX KELLERMAN CALLS WASHINGTON'S NAME CHANGE STATEMENT 'GARBAGE'

Bowser has been courting the Burgundy and Gold to that RFK site for quite some time, but recently, she, as JP Finlay wrote last week, has "stopped playing as nice." 

"I would hardly say the name is the only issue," the mayor explained last Monday.

Moving back to where RFK sits and constructing a new venue on that spot would be an incredible coup for the organization and Dan Snyder, and it's one that could feel more important to them now more than ever.

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Many fans will take the choice to move away from the previous name and view it as disrespectful toward Washington's football history. Well, landing back on East Capitol Street would be one way to reinvolve that history. 

Bowser didn't seem too concerned with touching on that on Monday, though. Instead, she opted to simply focus on what the city itself would look for in a revitalization of RFK.

"Priorities for the District, of course, would continue to be how we could have a mix of uses that highlighted our beautiful river, that invested in our need for housing and park space, and entertainment options, which is the current designated use of the land," Bowser said.

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D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser happy to see Redskins name change but hurdles remain for RFK

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser happy to see Redskins name change but hurdles remain for RFK

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser sounded encouraged about the Redskins review of their team name but did not think that just changing the name would immediately deliver the team a new stadium. 

"I am happy to see the team and the league moving in a direction to change the name," Bowser said Monday on a call with reporters.

"I think the team called Washington anything should be playing in Washington."

For a few years Bowser publicly courted the Redskins to return to RFK Stadium, the site where the team found their greatest years of success on the banks of the Anacostia River in Washington D.C. In the late 1990s the Redskins moved out of D.C. into Maryland, and for many fans, nothing has been the same. At various points it looked like Redskins owner Dan Snyder and Bowser were making real progress towards a new stadium, but bureaucratic red tape always popped up, particularly because the RFK site sits on federal land that the city doesn't control. 

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Then more recently Bowser stopped playing as nice with the Redskins and said the team needed to change its name. Now it appears they will, but still the D.C. mayor doesn't sound too optimistic about that prospect.

"I would hardly say that the name is the only issue."

RELATED: HOW WOULD NAME CHANGE AFFECT RFK PLANS?

Bowser also brought up the news that 40 percent of the Redskins is up for sale, a story reported by Pro Football Talk and The Washington Post on Sunday. Snyder has three partners that account for nearly half of the organization's ownership, and according to the reports, all three partners want out.

To Bowser, that's a chance to expand the ownership group.

"I actually think this would be a great opportunity for the team and the league to look for more diversity in ownership," the mayor said. 

The Redskins current lease at FedEx Field in Landover expires in 2027, and the RFK site sits vacant and largely unused. 

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