The Yankees confirmed earlier today that they are now up to seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 within their traveling party, and that shortstop Gleyber Torres would be held out of tonight’s game with the Rays as a precaution. Torres’ test results appear to still be pending.
Aaron Boone said that Torres had not tested positive, and that Torres had suffered a COVID infection over the winter and was vaccinated, so it seems Torres himself should be fine. The Yankees stated that, along with base coaches Phil Nevin and Reggie Willits, pitching coach Matt Blake had tested positive, and that there were four further positives among the team’s support staff.
The YES Network’s Jack Curry reported that every member of the Yankees’ party had been tested at least three times since yesterday morning. All seven of the infected staff members were vaccinated, and reportedly six of the seven are asymptomatic.
This is still a developing situation, and we’ll keep you updated as more details come to light. It’s important to note that the majority of the Yankees’ players and staff received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which showed roughly 66-percent effectiveness in clinical trials, and that no vaccine is 100-percent effective at preventing infection and symptoms. That a portion of the traveling party, which may run 80 or 90 people deep, tested positive should not be taken as a sign that the team’s vaccinations are not working, even if it is a concerning and surprising outcome.
The most encouraging takeaway should be that almost all of the team’s infections are asymptomatic, and that no one seems to be in significant danger. As The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler noted, light symptoms or asymptomatic infections very well could indicate that vaccinations are working as intended.
In any event, we obviously hope that this outbreak ends here, and that all infected members suffer minimal symptoms and can safely return to the team soon. At the conclusion of tonight’s game, no extra cases were reported, so we’ll take the good news.