THE Miami Marlins home opener was canceled on Monday after nearly half of the team’s roster tested positive for the coronavirus.
The COVID-19 outbreak, which has since affected 12 of the team’s players and two coaches, may also affect the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees.
Among the positive cases are pitcher Jose Urena, who was supposed to start Sunday’s game, and outfielders Garrett Cooper and Harold Ramirez, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
Despite knowing about four positive COVID-19 cases on the team on Sunday, the Marlins still took the field against the Phillies in the first week of Major League Baseball’s shortened 2020 season.
Infectious disease experts speaking to The Athletic on Sunday said that those four positive results fit the definition of a “clear outbreak” within the team of 30 players.
The team learned of 10 additional positive results – eight players and two coaches – on Monday, ESPN reported.
The team has reportedly remained in Philadelphia instead of flying back to Miami, where they were scheduled to play their home opener against the Baltimore Orioles.
The Phillies were scheduled to play the Yankees Monday night, but after the news of the outbreak, the Athletic reported that game is canceled as well. The Yankees would have had to use the same locker room the Marlins used over the weekend.
The decision to play Sunday’s game came after the MLB had done full contact tracing following the team’s first positive test result.
All the remaining Marlins were tested and the decision to play was based on the fact that no other players had tested positive or reported symptoms at the time.
However, experts warn that even more positives could be coming in the next few days.
“They’ve got 10 percent or more of their entire [traveling]group positive. That suggests that there’s a high probability that more people are going to end up testing positive,” Dr. John Swartzburg, of UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, Division of Infectious Disease, told The Athletic.
The experts The Athletic spoke to said that the chances that a Marlins player spread the virus to one of the Phillies was low — but still, the Philadelphia team was reportedly still worried about transmission before Sunday’s game.
Manager Joe Girardi said the team was warned about the positive test results before the game.
“We sent a text out to our players and made sure that they knew what was going on,” Girardi said. “We’re constantly reminding the guys. I mean, you have to be safe.”
Some Phillies players, including right fielder Bryce Harper, donned masks during the game as a precaution.
In recent weeks, as Florida has seen a massive spike in coronavirus cases, Miami has become something of an epicenter.
Miami-Dade County recently surpassed 100,000 confirmed cases.