Cubs’ David Ross encouraging players to seek COVID-19 vaccine info

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Maddie Lee
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Ross encouraging players to seek info on COVID-19 vaccine originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Cubs manager David Ross is among the staff members and players who have already received a COVID-19 vaccine. He was vaccinated in Arizona during spring training, he said in a Zoom press conference Thursday.

“I have encouraged the guys to seek out all the information and make the decision for themselves,” Ross said. “It's something that we're trying to get as many guys vaccinated as we possibly can, but at the end of the day it's their choice. And I've kind of left it up to them. I just want them to be informed. Our doctors have been great, have given as much information to anybody that wants it.”

Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said on Wednesday that some players had already been vaccinated and that more likely would receive shots this week. He declined to offer more detail, citing player privacy. Ross said he didn’t know how many players had been vaccinated.

Major League Baseball sent a memo this week encouraging players and coaches to get vaccinated, according to multiple reports. MLB and the players association have agreed to relax certain health and safety protocols for teams with at least 85 percent of Tier 1 individuals immunized.

“Obviously that 85 percent threshold is really important and something that we want to shoot for,” Hoyer said.  “We will be encouraging people to get the vaccine, but at the same time, we have to honor people's personal choice.”

Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward echoed the same message Thursday. He added that he expects some people will feel more comfortable with the COVID-19 vaccine over time, as it’s more widely distributed.

“A lot of people with kids have gotten them, definitely understand that,” said Heyward, who is not among those who have received a vaccine. “But I also understand the people that haven’t. It’s definitely a personal choice, and by no means if someone doesn't get it, does that mean you're not going to do everything you can in your power to be safe and to keep others safe around you.”

The Cubs have announced just one positive COVID-19 test, on the minor league side, since the start of spring training. But over in Washington, the Nationals’ season opener against the Mets was postponed due to ongoing COVID-19 contact tracing.

The Nats announced Wednesday that a player had tested positive and four other players and one staff member were quarantining after contact tracing.

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