What happens when an MLB player tests positive for coronavirus in 2021?

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Mike DePrisco
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What happens when an MLB player tests positive for COVID-19? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

As Major League Baseball gets set to play out another season during the coronavirus pandemic, it's probably a good time to freshen up on some of its protocols, especially considering the Nationals' complications the night before Opening Day.

Most of the key protocols that will impact the day-to-day schedule are similar to what they were for the 2020 season besides a few additions related to teams submitting COVID-19 action plans, rules for family members and new mental health resources for players. 

When it comes to what happens when a player tests positive, the protocol is pretty straight forward. 

What if a player tests positive for COVID-19?

Any player or staff member who tests positive for coronavirus will be required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days.

After they receive care and are monitored by the club medical staff, they can be cleared by the Joint Committee and the individual’s team physician. They'll have to complete a mandatory cardiac evaluation and a determination that the individual no longer presents a risk of infection to others in order to return to game action. 

How often are players tested?

MLB will conduct "frequent" COVID-19 tests on players and on-field personnel. Players will also undergo at least two daily symptom screens and temperature checks. 

Tests will be administered by the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory.

What if a player is a "close contact"

A player doesn't have to test positive to miss time on the field. If contact tracing protocols deem a player a "close contact," that player will be subject to a mandatory quarantine of seven days and must test negative on day five or later of that quarantine period. 

Each team is also required to appoint a Contact Tracing Officer responsible for overseeing the team's contact tracing process.