• AFP-JIJI

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Nine players and four staffers tested positive for COVID-19 during intake screening before MLB begins full-squad preseason workouts, the league and the players union said Friday.

The first set of results under the MLB COVID-19 health and test plan found 13 positives spread over 11 clubs from 4,336 total samples collected, a positive rate of 0.3%.

Tests were required of all active MLB roster players, non-roster invitees to spring training camps and staff members as part of a screening process that included a five-day home quarantine, temperature checks plus saliva and antibody tests.

The 2021 MLB health and safety protocols were agreed upon by the league and MLB Players Association after recommendations by medical experts and infectious disease specialists.

Those who clear the intake process become subject to regular monitoring testing. There were 2,298 such samples taken and analyzed and none was returned positive.

Clubs open workouts this month with the first spring training contests planned for Feb. 28 ahead of the scheduled April 1 start of the regular season.

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