MLB announced Friday afternoon that 38 of 3,185 COVID-19 tests for players and coaches came back positive during the league’s first week of testing. 31 players and seven staff members, representing nine different teams, tested positive — good for a 1.2% positive rate, significantly lower than the initial positive tests for the NHL and NBA, which were both around 5%.
At face value, this news seems concerning — and really, it kind of is when you consider that the Taiwanese, Korean, and Japanese professional leagues have gotten through their entire seasons to date without a single positive test. But the numbers at least seem low enough that MLB should have a pretty good chance of keeping the spread under control if players and coaches remain responsible and the league does a good job of adhering to sanitation and social distancing protocols. We’ll just have to see how the numbers continue to evolve as the league conducts testing every other day.