Yankees Minor League Player Becomes Baseball’s First Confirmed Coronavirus Case
As first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan and subsequently confirmed by several other outlets, a Yankees minor league player has tested positive for coronavirus. He is the first known case in MLB or MiLB, though it’s entirely possible there have been others who simply haven’t been tested. The unnamed player has been under quarantine since Friday, when he began running a fever.
The Yankees player who tested positive for coronavirus was only on the minor league side of the team's facility in Tampa. Still, as we're learning about coronavirus' ability to spread, that distance alone does not necessarily protect those who are nearby from contracting it.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 15, 2020
While the player in question was only on the minor-league side of the team’s facilities in Tampa, we’ve seen how quickly this virus can spread. The story of “Patient 31” in South Korea stands out as a prime example. In that case, a woman who was running a fever chose attend several public events against the advice of her doctors, eventually coming into contact with roughly 1,200 people before being tested. Even if you’re not into reading, that linked piece has lots of graphics to explain the spread.
If animation is more your jam, check out this Washington Post piece on how flatten the curve of outbreaks like coronavirus. As overly simplified as the examples may be, they offer a clear illustration of how various degrees of social distancing impact the spread over time. My sincere hope remains that we’re all overreacting to something that will end up petering out in a few weeks, but I’d rather that than have this thing spiral out of control among those with compromised immune systems.
We should be hearing many more reports of players and team employees testing positive, provided there are actually enough tests to make that happen.