Miami Marlins Manager Don Mattingly has contracted COVID-19 as the state of Florida announced its highest case count since the start of the pandemic.
Mattingly, who was fully vaccinated against the disease, tested positive after experiencing mild symptoms, and he was not with the team Saturday night for its game against the New York Yankees, according to Major League Baseball.
"He had a little bit of a runny nose earlier today, and we got a COVID test," Marlins General Manager Kim Ng told Bally Sports Florida during the game broadcast. "He tested positive, and he was sent home. He will be there. I'm not sure how long it is or how severe it is, but we hope he gets better soon."
Bench coach James Rowson filled in as acting manager during Mattingly's absence, the outlet added.
The MLB had relaxed COVID-19 protocols for teams in which 85% of their Tier 1 members were fully vaccinated, a threshold the Marlins reached by June 1, the report said. Players and coaches were no longer required to wear masks in the dugout or bullpen during games, among other loosened restrictions, the new guidance said.
The Marlins' 2020 season was put on hold Monday when 18 players and two coaches tested positive, the report said. Mattingly was not one of those who tested positive at that time.
The state has become a hot spot for the virus, which has seen a resurgence throughout the United States due to the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant. As of Thursday, Florida accounted for roughly one-fifth of U.S. cases, according to CDC data.
The CDC has recommended vaccinated people resume wearing masks indoors in areas with high transmission rates due to the variant's spread. The policy marked a sharp departure from the department's stance in May, when the CDC announced that vaccinated people could ditch their masks when indoors, though officials said unvaccinated people should still wear them.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis mocked this reversal on Wednesday, telling a crowd of 450 people, most of whom were not wearing masks, they were not "complying" with the new guidance.
"It is very important that we say unequivocally no to lockdowns, no to school closures, no to restrictions, and no to mandates," the Republican governor added.
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Original Author: Carly Roman