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- MLB released health and safety protocols for 2020, including no spitting.
Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gobert’s positive coronavirus test in March shut down the sports world, and while it’s now starting back up, athletes are still testing positive. Gobert’s case in particular has left him with lasting effects, including trouble smelling.
As MLS looks to start back up next month in Florida, more than 26 people connected with the league tested positive, including 18 players. Since training started on June 4, 668 MLS players have been tested, with a 2.7% positive test rate. The NBA recorded a 5.3% positive test rate when it announced its latest test results Friday, or 16 positives out of 302 tested.
Orange County, Florida, where the two leagues will resume action this month, has a 15.9% positive test rate over the past five days.
The NHL has tested 250 players at club training facilities more than 1,450 times in total, with 15 players returning positive results. The league is also aware of 11 other players, including Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews, that have tested positive outside the league’s protocols.
To try to adopt baseball to this new normal, MLB announced new features – including health and safety protocols – as it heads into its training camp this week. Other new rules include the designated hitter in the National League and teams starting extra innings with a runner on second base.
Health and safety features:
— Each team must submit a written COVID-19 action plan
— Spitting is prohibited
— Wet rag for pitchers in lieu of licking fingers
— Expanded dugout and bullpen spaces required at ballparks
— Mobile app lineup cards
Because of concerns related to COVID-19, Washington Nationals players Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross have opted out of the abbreviated 2020 season, as has Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake.