The Yankees' COVID-19 outbreak continues to grow.
Seven individuals within the Yankees' traveling party to Tampa Bay have tested positive for COVID-19, manager Aaron Boone revealed on Wednesday afternoon. That number jumped up from four confirmed cases on Tuesday evening.
Pitching coach Matt Blake, third base coach Phil Nevin and first base coach Reggie Willits are included in the group of those that have tested positive. Four support staff members round out the list of seven.
As was the case on Tuesday night, each individual that has tested positive for the virus has been fully vaccinated and has eclipsed the two-week mark since receiving their vaccine. Six of the seven are asymptomatic, Boone said.
In addition to those seven positive cases, shortstop Gleyber Torres is being held out of the lineup on Wednesday night in an abundance of caution, Boone revealed.
Boone confirmed that Torres is doing fine physically. Leaving him out of the lineup is just a case of the organization and joint committee awaiting results from a slew of tests.
"Just with all that's going on with our team, out of an abundance of caution, we're holding him out tonight," Boone said. "I know everyone's gonna read into that, but hopefully, it's nothing. It's more just getting all the information. And so other than that we're just waiting."
Boone added that Torres contracted the virus this past December, so he has all the antibodies, and he has also been fully vaccinated.
New York surpassed the 85 percent vaccinated threshold weeks ago, allowing the team to collectively lessen restrictions enforced by the league's COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
These seven positive test results are "breakthrough" cases, an anomaly for vaccinated individuals. A small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated will still get COVID-19 if they are exposed to the virus that causes it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That in mind, these confirmed cases came as a surprise. Starting pitcher Jameson Taillon said Wednesday that he thought the team would be "out of the woods" from any sort of COVID-19 issues once the team surpassed the vaccine threshold.
Now, Taillon said he has started wearing a mask again, choosing to do his pregame workout routine on the field rather than the weight room in an effort to avoid spending time in any confined spaces.
"Once we were past the two week threshold of the vaccine, I thought we were going to be good to go. I didn't see this being a problem. But here we are," Taillon said. "I have a brother in the medical field. He's a critical care doctor down in Fort Myers. So I've talked to him a little bit. He said it is obviously possible to contract the virus, but the vaccine does protect the severe symptoms and the hospitalization rates and all that.
"I still think it's a really good thing, obviously, that our guys are vaccinated, even if we're testing positive. Seems like everyone's symptoms are okay and everyone's doing fine."
Asked what the biggest challenge of this developing situation has been, Boone referenced the uncertainty of what's gone on over the last few days while everyone has been attempting to make sense of it all.
Despite all these additional tests and a "scary" situation, the Yankees were able to defeat their division rival, the Tampa Bay Rays, on Tuesday night. They'll do their best to replicate that performance on Wednesday night with ace Gerrit Cole on the mound.
- Aroldis Chapman’s Expanded Repertoire Has Him Off to Scorching Start
- Jordan Montgomery Deals, Yanks Cruise to Series-Opening Win in Tampa
- Yankees' Prospect Estevan Florial Is Tearing it Up in Double-A