Mattingly away from club after COVID test

August 1st, 2021

MIAMI -- Manager Don Mattingly tested positive for COVID-19 after experiencing mild symptoms, the Marlins announced on Saturday night, and he was not with the team for its 4-2 loss to the Yankees at loanDepot park.

Mattingly has been fully vaccinated since April.

"He had a little bit of a runny nose earlier today, and we got a COVID test," GM Kim Ng told Bally Sports Florida during the game broadcast. "He tested positive, and he was sent home. He will be there. I'm not sure how long it is or how severe it is, but we hope he gets better soon.”

Bench coach James Rowson is serving as the acting manager.

The club also announced that the rest of the staff and players have been given PCR tests, with rapid results coming back negative. It was not known whether they would need to undergo daily testing to ensure no positives surface. Mattingly will need to be out at least 10 days as part of COVID-19 protocols.

Rowson said no decision has been made about how the coaching staff will be comprised in Mattingly’s absence.

"That's one of the things that we didn't get a chance to discuss, just trying to get ready for the game and those things early on," said Rowson, who interviewed for managerial jobs last winter. "I think once we get done here and get back, we'll probably have a chance to sit down and talk with our front office, talk with our group, and just find out what we think is the best possible solution during this time that Donnie's out.

“Hopefully, Donnie can get healthy, get back here soon and we get right back to normal."

The Marlins announced on June 1 that they reached the 85% vaccination threshold. Clubs were informed just before Opening Day that MLB and the MLBPA had agreed to relax certain health and safety protocols for fully vaccinated tier 1 individuals and for clubs where 85% of their tier 1 individuals are fully vaccinated.

Among the loosened restrictions, players and coaches don't need to wear masks in the dugout or bullpen during games. They also are free to work out without masks in the weight room. Players and coaches can gather in hotel rooms and indoor spaces with other fully vaccinated individuals, and COVID-19 testing will be conducted less frequently.

In 2020, Miami's season was put on hold on July 26 when 18 players and two coaches tested positive. Mattingly was not one of them. The infected players returned to South Florida and remained in quarantine, while those who didn't have COVID-19 bused to Baltimore after spending a week in quarantine in Philadelphia.

On Saturday, the state of Florida reported more new COVID-19 cases to the Centers for Disease Control than any previous day during the pandemic: 21,683. Last week, there were 12 reported positives among the Nationals while they were in Philadelphia.

"During these times, we have to understand that what happened, we can't take that for granted," said Miguel Rojas, who was one of the Marlins afflicted by COVID-19 last year. "That vaccine is going to help us get over the hump, but at the same time, we need to make sure that we don't get back to the point where we were in early 2020.”