MLB announces no new positive COVID-19 test results; streak hits 47 days

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Major League Baseball once again released positive news, and negative test results, in an encouraging update as the sport gears up for the World Series.

There were zero new positive COVID-19 test results as of Thursday, which marked the 47th consecutive day — and 55th of the past 56 days — that players all tested negative for the virus. MLB and the Players Association announced the update Friday.

No new positive test results derived from a total of 5,026 samples in the past week.

The total number of monitoring samples collected and tested up to Thursday has been 169,143. Of those samples, 91 or .05% have been new positives. Fifty-seven of the 91 positives have been players and 34 have been staff members.

As Marcell Ozuna enjoyed a two-dinger day in the Braves’ 10-2 NLCS Game 4 win over the Dodgers and Rays’ rookie breakout Randy Arozarena launched his sixth home run of the postseason on Thursday, it was easy to forget, in the playoff thrill of it all, that October baseball was functioning according to plan because MLB’s bubble setup was succeeding.

The four playoff teams remaining were sequestered to two neutral sites that resemble postseason bubbles, modeled after the NBA, WNBA and NHL’s structure. The Braves and Dodgers are playing in an Arlington, Texas, bubble and the Rays and Astros are based in San Diego. The World Series will take place Tuesday at the Rangers’ Globe Life Field in Arlington.

By doing so, MLB is isolating players, staff members and teams from the rest of the country’s population with the hope of limiting COVID-19 exposure. Teams first transitioned toward these neutral sites, or bubbles, toward the end of the regular season. Players and staff members were limited to team hotels in their final road trips of the year ahead of the playoffs. That meant no roaming beyond the premises — at all — besides team flights, bus rides and, of course, the ballpark.

That MLB has gone at least a couple of weeks with no new positive COVID-19 test results is reassuring news as the sport enters its final stage of the baseball calendar.

It is a major contrast to how the season began, with a troubling Marlins and Cardinals outbreak. After trial and error, it appears the sport has found a working solution to playing baseball amid a pandemic.

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