Dodgers organization has 9 positive coronavirus tests days after World Series victory

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Nine members of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and a family member have tested positive for the coronavirus, county health officials said.

The announcement comes just over a week after the team won the World Series.

The Dodgers’ organizing case count was initially five, according to an article released Thursday by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and updated Friday.

But a spokesperson for the health department said on Saturday there were four more positive tests.

The identity of those who tested positive has not been disclosed.

Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball did not immediately return requests for comment on Saturday.

It’s unclear whether the nine players included third baseman Justin Turner, who was eliminated in the team’s decisive World Series victory on October 27 after testing positive for the virus.

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A USA Today article on the first five cases quoted someone with knowledge of the situation as saying that most of those who tested positive were outside of the so-called World Series bubble in Arlington, Texas.

Turner had been taken out after the seventh inning of Game 6 and placed in isolation to avoid spread, according to the MLB.

But after the victory, he was seen celebrating with his team on the diamond at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Robert and third baseman Justin Turner pose for a group photo after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series on October 27, 2020 in Arlington, TX.Eric Gay / AP
Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner poses for a photo with his wife Kourtney Pogue after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays to win the World Series on October 27, 2020 in Arlington, Texas.Kevin Jairaj / Reuters

His appearance on the pitch sparked controversy, and MLB initially berated the player, saying in a statement last week that his decision to leave isolation put people at risk.

However, MLB commissioner Robert Manfred Jr. said in a statement on Friday that an investigation “revealed additional relevant information” that puts into context the reasons Turner returned to the field.

“First, Mr. Turner’s teammates actively encouraged him to leave the isolation room and return to the field for a photo. Many teammates felt they had been exposed to Mr Turner before and were willing to tolerate the additional risk, ”Manfred said.

“Second, Mr. Turner believes he received permission from at least one Dodger employee to return to the field to participate in a photograph,” the commissioner said, noting that it could have been a communication error, but that two Dodgers employees saw Turner return to the field and did not stop him.

“Third, during the somewhat chaotic situation on the pitch, an unidentified person falsely told Mr. Turner that other players had tested positive, thus creating the impression in Mr. Turner’s mind. that he was chosen for isolation.

Manfred said the league could have handled the situation better and that the results of the investigation do not absolve Turner “of responsibility for his conduct.”

“I close this case by applauding Justin for accepting his responsibilities, apologizing and making a commitment to lead by example in the future,” he added.

Turner apologized and said he never intended to “make anyone uncomfortable or endanger anyone”.

“I will not find excuses for my behavior, but I will describe my state of mind. Winning the World Series was my lifelong dream and the culmination of everything I’ve worked for in my career, ”he said.

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Under the impression that team officials were okay with his isolation, Turner said he had returned to the field to take what he believed was a photo with his wife, but that it ‘s done. is transformed into several greetings and photos which I briefly and recklessly. took off my mask. ”

Stan Kasten, president and CEO of the Dodgers, thanked Turner for his work in helping the team through the unprecedented season created by the pandemic.

“While the events following the conclusion of the World Series have been unfortunate, there is no doubt who Justin Turner is and what he means to his teammates, the Dodger organization and the city of Los Angeles.” , he said in a statement.

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