16 of 30 MLB teams reach 85% vaccinations, relax protocols

Sports

NEW YORK (AP) — A majority of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams have been able to relax coronavirus protocols after two additional clubs qualified and raised the total to 16 franchises reaching 85% vaccinations for players and other on-field personnel.

The pace of vaccinations has slowed markedly, however,

The commissioner’s office and the players’ association said Friday that three additional teams had reached the 85% level of having received final doses and would be able to relax protocols within the next two weeks once they are fully vaccinated. The teams were not identified.

Relaxed protocols include dropping the requirements for facemasks in dugouts and bullpens, and loosening restrictions on mobility during road trips.

MLB said 84.5% of all Tier 1 individuals such as players, managers, coaches, trainers and support personnel had been partially or fully vaccinated, up just 0.1% from the previous week, and 81.2% had been fully vaccinated, up 2.4% from the previous week.

So far this season, there have been 62 positive tests — 34 players, 28 staff — among 176,260 samples tested, a 0.035% positive rate. The positive tests are among 23 teams.

The Phillies said Friday they will return to 100% capacity at Citizens Bank Park for their June 4 game against Washington. Philadelphia had said on May 13 they would reach full capacity on June 12 against the Yankees. The change allows full houses for six additional games.

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