CINCINNATI, Ohio – An employee who works year-round at the Reds spring training complex in Goodyear, Arizona, has tested positive for the new coronavirus, but no Cincinnati players have been diagnosed with the illness.
The employee was in contact with Reds staff and players from Feb. 29 to March 14 and is self-quarantined in Arizona. Some Reds employees who were in Goodyear and had contact with the infected employee were tested as a precaution Wednesday in Cincinnati.
Major league and minor league players were informed of the positive test and urged to contact the team if they feel ill. So far, none has reported any symptoms, said Dick Williams, president of baseball operations.
“We are keeping in daily contact with them,” Williams said. “If there's anything suspicious, we're going to work with them very quickly to get tested.”
Jim Day, a Fox Sports Ohio broadcaster, was among those tested as a precaution. He participated in the team's weekly “Hot Stove League” show Wednesday by calling in from self-quarantine at home.
Major League Baseball has shut down spring training and pushed back the start of the season until at least mid-May because of the pandemic.
While players in the NBA and the NHL have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, no big league baseball player is known to have been infected. Two New York Yankees minor leaguers have tested positive for the virus.
On Tuesday, the Ottawa Senators announced that one of their players — who wasn't identified — had tested positive, the first known case in the NHL.
The virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms for most people, such as a cough and fever. Older adults and those with existing health problems can develop more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from the virus. Those with a mild illness recover in about two weeks, according to the World Health Organization, while those with more severe forms make take three to six weeks.
The Reds employee in Goodyear began feeling sick over the weekend and went for testing.
“They tested negative for the flu and strep,” Williams said. "Because of the nature of the job and the exposure to a lot of players from international locations, they decided to go ahead and do a (COVID-19) test.
“It takes a few days for the results to come back, so the employee wasn't informed until late last night.”
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