When the first player in Major League Baseball to test positive for the novel coronavirus was a Minor Leaguer within the Yankees' system, the organization acted swiftly and responsibly.
With no way of knowing how many others at the club's Player Development facility had been unknowingly exposed to the virus – after all, symptoms can take weeks to appear for the first time – all Minor Leaguers were sent into a two-week period of self-quarantine.
Since then, only one additional Minor League player has tested positive for COVID-19 within the Yankees' organization. Deep cleans of the complex and comprehensive diligence to wash hands and practice social distancing have led to more good news.
On Wednesday, Yankees' skipper Aaron Boone revealed that the mandated isolation in hotel rooms will conclude late Wednesday night.
The manager told reporters that all players – except the second individual to contract the virus – are encouraged to travel to their personal homes starting Thursday and join the rest of the baseball world patiently waiting for baseball's return.
In an interview on Tuesday, Boone had disclosed that both players who had tested positive for the coronavirus were completely "recovered."
Combine that with general manager Brian Cashman's announcement that the two players to test positive were no longer exhibiting symptoms as early as last week and it appears the Bombers are returning to a full bill of health during this ever-changing pandemic.
“Everyone is doing well,” Boone told Meredith Marakovitz of YES Network. “Those guys are recovered. I know [Brian Cashman] and [senior director of player development] Kevin Reese are being really vigilant about taking care of those guys, trying to keep those guys’ spirits up as much as possible in a difficult situation. By all accounts, it sounds like everything is going pretty well for them down there.”
The second player will continue to self-isolate as a precautionary measure since his symptoms appeared later. Those that are not from the United States are expected to remain in Tampa due to the uncertainty of international travel.
As the Yankees, and all of Major League Baseball, brace for Thursday – when Opening Day was originally scheduled to begin – Boone is thinking ahead. After the lengthy postponement, there's no definitive date for when the regular season will begin. Boone is fully aware of just how impactful baseball's return will be during these unprecedented times.
"Our job, when we come back, ultimately is going to be bigger than the game and all of us as well. As we've seen throughout time, sports can play a role in the healing as a diversion, a distraction. A sense of normalcy."
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