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The New York Mets will not be playing the Miami Marlins as planned on Thursday night. The game was postponed hours prior to the first pitch because the Mets had a player and a staff member test positive for COVID-19, according to Tim Healey of Newsday

Major League Baseball has since announced that the Mets’ scheduled game for Friday night against the Yankees has already been postponed, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.

It’s unclear if the Mets will be able to play the Yankees on either Saturday or Sunday. If MLB follows the same playbook they employed last week, when the Cincinnati Reds had a player test positive, then it seems unlikely that the Mets will play again until Tuesday, at the earliest. MLB would seem more likely to park the Mets until they can conduct contact tracing — so as to figure out the likelihood of an outbreak — and additional testing.

Based on what is known about the virus, the incubation period can range from between two to 14 days. That means an infected individual can still test negative. COVID-19 seems unlikely to transfer between teams provided their interaction is limited to on the field. The highest risk of transmission is when individuals spend a prolonged time in a crowd within an enclosed or poorly ventilated area at intimate distances. Or, in other words, not during a game on a baseball field.

Although MLB’s season is less than a month old, the league has already had to alter its schedule in a significant manner due to positive tests. Both the Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals had outbreak situations that led to the teams being sidelined for weeks.

The Mets are scheduled to play the Marlins again beginning on Tuesday. If the Mets are allowed to resume their season by then, the clubs could make up their game in a doubleheader. The Mets are also scheduled to play the Yankees again later in August, which could come in handy if the weekend series is postponed entirely. 

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