Major League Baseball postponed Sunday’s series finale between the A’s and Astros at Minute Maid Park due to a positive COVID-19 test by a member of the A’s organization.
The A’s conducted testing and contact tracing for all members of their traveling party on Sunday morning and will remain in self-isolation overnight at the team hotel in Houston with recommended safety precautions in place. A saliva test was sent to MLB’s lab in Utah, and the A’s hope to have the results back by Monday morning.
The A’s learned of the positive test around 10 p.m. PT on Saturday night after a doubleheader against the Astros earlier in the day. The game will be made up on Sept. 8 as Game 1 of a doubleheader in Oakland. The start time will be 3:10 p.m. PT.
“Anything beyond today, we’re not going to speculate on,” A's general manager David Forst said. “Ultimately, we need to see if this is an isolated infection or a larger issue. The only way to do that is to be patient and make sure everybody isolates at the hotel today. We’ll wait until tomorrow to figure out tomorrow.”
Forst remains in contact with MLB for guidelines on the next steps. The situations involving positive COVID-19 tests with the Reds and Mets earlier this month could provide something of a blueprint on how to navigate through these times.
“They do have experience with this. The Reds and the Mets each recently had positive tests, and in both cases, they were able to identify it, isolate people, step back and allow the protocols to be effective,” Forst said. “Considering the success in those two scenarios, we’re going to take all our cues from [MLB’s] office and hopefully have the same result. But it’s too soon to know whether this is isolated or has been more spread.”
The positive test is the first the A’s have made public since the start of the season. A’s pitcher Jesús Luzardo tested positive at the start of Oakland’s Summer Camp in July before recovering and eventually rejoining the club two weeks later. Forst chose not to reveal whether the positive test on Sunday came from a player or staff member.
The A’s had games postponed on Thursday and Friday as a form of protest over last week’s shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in Kenosha, Wis. Until Sunday, the A’s had not been involved in a game that was postponed because of COVID-19 concerns.
The A’s entered Sunday sitting atop the American League West standings in first place with a record of 22-12.
“We don’t know what we’re facing from a baseball standpoint as far as how long we’re going to be out or when we’ll play next,” Forst said. “We’ve got a resilient group of guys who have taken this seriously all along and understand the sacrifices that they are making to play. I have confidence that we’ll get through this and get back to playing baseball, when it is appropriate.”