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MIAMI — The Miami Marlins’ schedule has been postponed through Sunday after 15 players tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Marlins received positive test results for four additional players Tuesday, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The person declined to be identified because the results had not been publicly released. Nine players on the 30-man roster, two taxi squad players and two staff members tested positive earlier, stranding the team in Philadelphia and prompting the postponement of four MLB games.
Their outbreak raised new questions about MLB’s attempts to conduct a season outside of a bubble environment, which the NFL also has opted not to create for its season.
The Marlins underwent another round of tests Tuesday morning.
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health said it was working with the Marlins and Phillies on contact tracing to contain the spread of the virus. No Phillies have tested positive.
“Obviously, we don’t want any player to get exposed. It’s not a positive thing,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said Monday night on the MLB Network. “But I don’t see it as a nightmare. … We think we can keep people safe and continue to play.”
Meanwhile, Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria remained at the team hotel in Cleveland on Tuesday and has not been medically cleared after experiencing some COVID-19 symptoms. He woke up Monday with a slight cough and nasal congestion.
Manfred said there are factors that would force MLB to alter plans.
“A team losing a number of players that rendered it completely non-competitive would be an issue that we would have to address and have to think about making a change,” he said. “Whether that was shutting down a part of the season, the whole season, that depends on the circumstances. Same thing with respect to league-wide. You get to a certain point league-wide where it does become a health threat, and we certainly would shut down at that point.”
MLB and the union held talks Monday after aspects of the protocols were widely ignored during the season’s first four days, such as the prohibitions on high-fives and other physical celebrations.
The NBA and NHL plan to resume their seasons in bubble environments, with basketball at Lake Buena Vista, Florida, and hockey at Edmonton, Alberta, and Toronto.
“The NBA and the NHL have an advantage: smaller numbers of players, shorter period of time,” Manfred said. “I understand why they did what they did. I’m just not sure it was workable for us.”
The NFL has opted not to create a bubble environment as training camps open this week.
AP Sports Writers Steven Wine, Rob Maaddi in Philadelphia and Jake Seiner in New York and Associated Press Writer Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.