MLB's latest COVID-19 testing data reveals just 5 player positives over the past week

Liz Roscher

Major League Baseball released its latest COVID-19 testing report on Friday, and after a rocky beginning that saw delayed testing and results, there are reasons to be encouraged. MLB carried out a lot of tests, and just a handful of players tested positive over the past week.

The latest numbers

In a press release, MLB revealed it had collected 10,548 samples from players and staff, and that six of those samples tested positive for COVID-19 (0.05 percent). Five were players, and one was a staff member. There was also a five-day stretch over the past week during which no new positives were recorded.

Since the start of intake testing on June 27, MLB has collected 21,701 total samples. 93 of those have tested positive for COVID-19, which is a 0.4 percent positivity rate. 80 are players, and 13 are staff members.

Overall, these numbers are promising. But there are several figures that MLB failed to provide which would add some much-needed context to these numbers. MLB only gave the number of samples collected, but did not reveal how many people were tested and how many times they were tested.

Six positives out of 10,548 total samples certainly looks good, but since players are being tested multiple times per week, what does that mean in terms of people? That info would certainly make these numbers a lot more revealing.

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 14: <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/teams/oakland/" data-ylk="slk:Oakland Athletics">Oakland Athletics</a> players wear masks during their Summer Camp at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 14: Oakland Athletics players wear masks during their Summer Camp at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images)

Players deserve credit

While it appears that MLB’s testing program is running more smoothly than it was a few weeks ago, the biggest takeaway is that players seem to be taking social distancing seriously. Despite several players testing positive since the start of spring training 2.0, there have been no massive team-wide outbreaks. For example, New York Yankees closer Aroldis Champman tested positive on July 11, after he’d reported to Yankee Stadium for workouts, but there hasn’t yet been a spike in positive tests on the Yankees.

The players deserve all the credit for that. MLB can set the rules, but they only work if the players follow them. Players seem to be taking social distancing and hygiene rules seriously, which is a good sign as real games approach.

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