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Yankees Positive Tests Rise to Seven, Torres Held Out Despite Antibodies

Yankees manager Aaron Boone announced Wednesday that the team has seven COVID-19 cases after more staff members' tests came back positive.

On Tuesday, the team announced that third base coach Phil Nevin, first-base coach Reggie Willits and a staffer were breakthrough positives after testing positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated.

In his pre-game media briefing, Boone also said that shortstop Gleyber Torres is out of the lineup to face the Rays on Wednesday, but could still feature mid-game as the team waits on test results. Boone said that Torres's omission is due to "an abundance of caution" as he already contracted COVID-19 in December and has the antibodies. 

The CDC refers to a breakthrough positive as a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated that still get COVID-19, as "no vaccine prevents illness 100 percent of the time."

“Hopefully the fact that we’re vaccinated en masse is something that will blunt this and allow a number of us to not get anything, and keep symptoms at a minimum if anything does get through," Boone told on Tuesday. “Hopefully it turns out to be a case of encouraging people to still [receive vaccines].”

In April, the team cleared the 85% threshold of vaccinated Tier 1 employees (players, coaches, staff) required by MLB in order to lift restrictions, with most receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. With 85% vaccinated, players, coaches and staff are able to gather in indoor spaces, eat in restaurants, carpool and stay in personal residences while traveling.

Vaccinated individuals who don't have symptoms are also not required to quarantine if they are a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

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