Major League Baseball will require that all non-playing personnel be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to access the field or any other restricted area in the playoffs, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported on Friday night.
MLB will require non-playing personnel (managers, coaches, athletic trainers, etc.) to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to gain access to field and other restricted areas in postseason, sources tell @TheAthletic. 1/2
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) September 17, 2021
According to Rosenthal, unvaccinated staff members can still retain their access in the postseason if they have received one dose of a vaccine before the playoffs start and have a second dose scheduled.
The decision does not apply to players.
While the decision is now leaguewide, it will be nothing new for several teams that have already implemented similar vaccine mandates in recent months. Both the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros required that full-time employees get vaccinated, and the Baltimore Orioles said that all employees must be vaccinated by the end of October.
Longtime Nationals executive Bob Boone actually left the organization after 15 years after refusing to follow the new coronavirus policy, and a pair of MLB Network analysts — Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz and Al Leiter — will no longer be allowed to work in studio for the network after refusing to get vaccinated. All MLB Network employees had to get vaccinated by Sept. 1.
As of Friday night, the country is averaging more than 521,000 new cases of the coronavirus, according to The New York Times. About 54% of Americans are fully vaccinated, and about 64% have received at least one dose.
The playoffs will start on Oct. 5 with the American League wild-card game. The National League game will take place the following night.