MLB and the MLB Players Association have released results from the first round of COVID-19 testing for the start of spring training sessions, and the news is relatively good for the outlook of the upcoming season.
In total, nine positive results were among players, while an additional four positives came from staff members. 0.3% of the 4,336 samples collected and tested returned positive results, and 11 of the 30 teams had at least one positive test.
Following the intake screening of personnel upon arrivals to spring training sites, none of the 2,298 monitoring test samples returned any new positive results.
Cleveland Indians ace right-hander and reigning American League Cy Young award winner Shane Bieber recently tested positive for the coronavirus and missed the start of camp. Cleveland president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti told reporters on Thursday that Bieber has "very, very mild symptoms" of the virus and could rejoin the team early next week.
To compare across leagues, 48 of 546 NBA players tested upon arrivals to club markets for training camp in early December returned positive COVID-19 results.
As noted by the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), MLB postponed 45 regular-season games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season due to coronavirus-related issues and concerns. If the NBA and NHL campaigns offer any indication of what is to come, MLB will inevitably run into schedule disruptions caused by the virus not long after Opening Day on April 1.