UPDATE: A ninth member of the New York Yankees organization has tested positive for coronavirus after being fully vaccinated.
Manager Aaron Boone said Sunday that a “staff member” tested positive, which they learned Saturday night. He did not identify the staffer, but said the new case was not part of the on-field coaching staff. Previously, pitching coach Matt Blake, first base coach Reggie Willits and third base coach Phil Nevin, along with shortstop Gleyber Torres, were named as the positive cases.
The staff member that tested positive Saturday is quarantining in Baltimore. The other positive cases remain in quarantine in Tampa.
EARLIER: Continuing a worrisome trend, the New York Yankees placed shortstop Gleyber Torres on the Covid-19 injured list today. The fully-vaccinated player thus becomes the eighth team member to contract the coronavirus after being fully vacccinated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only reports patients that have been hospitalized or died in so-called “breakthrough” cases of those who contact the virus even after being vaccinated. The CDC claims that a “small percentage” of people are expected to contract Covid-19 even after being vaccinated.
Major League Baseball said in late March that certain Covid-19 health and safety protocols could be relaxed for organizations that had 85% of its traveling parties fully vaccinated. Traveling parties include managers, coaches, trainers, players and some other personnel. MLB and local authorities have also gradually allowed increased fan capacity at ballparks, although the number varies by locale.
Last year, MLB had to cancel and reschedule several games because of Covid-19 outbreaks on teams. Ballparks were largely empty of fans throughout the limited season, although capacities increased during the playoffs and World Series.
The previous seven cases on the Yankees include pitching coach Matt Blake, third-base coach Phil Nevin and first-base coach Reggie Willits. Manager Aaron Boone said Wednesday that six of the seven coaches and staffers were asymptomatic.
“Major League Baseball, its medical experts and the New York State Department of Health are currently advising and assisting the Yankees, who continue to undergo additional testing and contact tracing,” the team said in a statement.
The San Diego Padres have also been hit hard by Covid-19. Four players have been placed on the health and safety exclusion list, including star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., outfielder Jurickson Profar, shortstop Jorge Mateo, right fielder Wil Myers and first baseman Eric Hosmer. Their vaccination status was not revealed.