WASHINGTON – The opening game between the Nationals and the New York Mets was postponed hours before the start of the game Thursday night due to concerns about a coronavirus after at least three Washington players tested positive for COVID-19.

In a video conference with reporters, Mike Rizzo, general manager of the Nationals, said his team also has a fourth player who is likely to be positive. He didn’t identify any of the players.

For the most part, the whole team is …. We have them… in solitary confinement, and they’re in self-quarantine, Rizzo said.

He said it’s unclear when the opening game will be made up – except that it won’t be Friday, which was originally scheduled as a day off so a catch-up game could be played if there’s a problem with the first game, such as rain. The next game between the two teams is Saturday at 4:05 p.m. IT.



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It’s a pity we can’t play today, but we have to stay positive. I’ve talked to a lot of players, and I’m concerned about their health and safety, Washington manager Dave Martinez said. I will continue to keep an eye on them to make sure they are doing well. You’ll be fine.

This is not the first time we have been on bumpy roads. We’ve been there and we’ll be back to play baseball.

Rizzo said one of the players who tested positive had a fever, while the others showed no symptoms of COVID-19.

On Wednesday, Mr. Rizzo announced a first positive test for the disease caused by the coronavirus. He said that was the result of testing Monday while the Nationals were still in Florida for spring training.

At the time, he said, four other players were in close contact and quarantined. Well, two of those players tested positive after Wednesday’s test, and the other had an inconclusive sample that is considered likely positive.

Mr. Rizzo stated that contact tracing is continuing to determine who else may have been exposed.

The Mets practiced Thursday at Nationals Park, where pitchers threw live pitches to batters.

That’s a shame. There are still things going on in the world. Honestly, it wasn’t a surprise. We were in a similar situation last year, Mets manager Luis Rojas said. Health is the most important thing in the world. We take care of ourselves. Everyone carries a mask everywhere. We’ll do whatever it takes.

Rizzo said he didn’t know how the team’s offense started.

I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a player who violated protocol. We have been very busy during spring training. The day we landed in Washington was the day we got our first positive result, he said. It’s just a guess as to what happened and when it happened, and we don’t want to get into the details. This is a serious matter. It’s about people’s health, and these players are obviously very important to me and our organization.

There was close contact between the players and staff during the team’s flight from Florida to Washington after spring training.

Max Scherzer, who was scheduled to address the Nationals Thursday night, said he did not take that flight and traveled separately with his family.

No players tested positive during the six-week spring training camp in West Palm Beach, Florida, Rizzo said.

He said the team will follow Major League Baseball and Washington’s protocols regarding quarantine.

According to the MLB’s 2021 health and safety protocols, any player who tests positive must be isolated for at least 10 days, receive appropriate care and follow-up from the club’s medical staff, and be approved by a joint COVID-19 baseball committee and the player’s team physician after a mandatory cardiac evaluation and a determination that the player no longer poses an infection risk to other players.

Jesse Rogers of ESPN and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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