Yankees to play vs. Rays despite 7 positive COVID-19 cases on staff

·2-min read

Prior to Wednesday's game between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays, manager Aaron Boone confirmed that seven Yankees staff members had tested positive for COVID-19.

The Yankees planned to take the field despite the outbreak.

Among the staff members who tested positive are third base coach Phil Nevin, first base coach Reggie Willits and pitching coach Matt Blake. Blake's positive test was confirmed on Wednesday after the Yankees announced Nevin and Willits' status on Tuesday. The other four who tested positive are members of the Yankees support staff.

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone watches batting practice before a spring training exhibition baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla., Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
Yankees manager Aaron Boone spent Wednesday pregame answering questions about a COVID-19 outbreak.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

NY Department of Health looking into cases

All seven members who tested positive have taken the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the Yankees. Six of the seven staff members are asymptomatic.

The New York State Department of Health released a statement that it was looking into the Yankees cases to determine if they qualify as "breakthrough" cases.

"While there have been anecdotal reports of New Yorkers who have had a positive COVID test 14 or more days after receiving their last vaccine dose, DOH is investigating those cases along with the ones linked to the Yankees further to determine if they meet the formal CDC definition of vaccine breakthrough," the statement reads, per ESPN.

The CDC has repeatedly stated that "breakthrough" cases among people who have been vaccinated are a normal part of the larger vaccine process. Per the CDC:

"Vaccine breakthrough cases are expected. COVID-19 vaccines are effective and are a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control. However no vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness. There will be a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19."

Gleyber Torres not playing Wednesday

Meanwhile, shortstop Gleyber Torres won't join his teammates Wednesday out of "an abundance of caution," Boone said. Boone declined to clarify the specifics of why Torres is being held out, but noted that he's "fine," that he contracted COVID-19 in December and has since been vaccinated.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Wednesday's game is the second of a 10-game Yankees road trip that also includes series against the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers.

More from Yahoo Sports:

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting