MLB announces 38 players, staff test positive for coronavirus on intake

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants finally took the field Friday morning, and did so with masks on and social distancing being seen all over Oracle Park. A few minutes after the second of three groups finished up, players were given a reminder of why it will be so important to continue following safety protocols. 

MLB and the MLBPA released results from the initial round of coronavirus testing done at ballparks this week. Of the 3,185 samples collected and tested, 38 came back positive for COVID-19. Thirty-one players and seven staff members were positive, representing 19 of the 30 MLB clubs.

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There are two ways to view that news. On one hand, only 1.2 percent of the tests came back positive. On the other hand, that's still 38 people who thought they would be in camps Friday, only to be told that they are being quarantined because they have the coronavirus. 

The results also are not complete. Results have not come back for all players around the league yet because it takes 24 to 48 hours (at least one Giant arrived yesterday). The A's and Milwaukee Brewers were among the teams known to be awaiting tests.

The MLB release also does not appear to cover players who were not part of the screening process because they tested positive before camps were set up. Hunter Bishop, for instance, tested positive last week and is not yet on the Giants' roster, so he would not be part of the 38 listed by MLB and the MLBPA. 

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Earlier Friday, right-hander Jeff Samardzija became the first Giant to take part in a video press conference. Samardzija has two young children, and the starting pitcher said he was not too bothered by following new protocols. 

"These are sacrifices we need to make," he said. "I have a family, too, a lot of people that I don't want to get sick, a grandfather that's over 90. My father just came off quadruple-bypass surgery. Everyone has a thing they can list off and they're worried about and that scares them. We need to protect ourselves by social distancing there on the field. Everyone needs to stay in the hotel at night, not go out, not go to bars, as hard as that is. We have to make sacrifices."

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