ANAHEIM, CALIF. – The Twins reported no new positive results after the team went through COVID-19 testing Monday morning.
That means the season continues Tuesday with a doubleheader at Oakland.
With three players and one staff member testing positive for the coronavirus, games Saturday and Sunday against the Angels had been postponed, as was Monday's scheduled game against the Athletics.
The team went through contact tracing investigations as well as taking tests for the virus during the past days. With the all clear, the team headed to Oakland on Monday night.
Roster moves will be announced Tuesday morning.
Two players and one staff member were quarantining in Anaheim after testing positive for COVID-19. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons tested positive last week and did not make the West Coast road trip; the team left the Twin Cities on Thursday for Los Angeles.
A nonuniformed staff member then tested positive ahead of Friday's 10-3 loss at the Angels. Two more players tested positive ahead of Saturday's game; only left fielder Kyle Garlick was identified. The other player has not released his name to the media, though he will eventually have to join Simmons and Garlick on the COVID-19 injury list Tuesday.
After the positive cases Saturday, MLB postponed the rest of the series, including games Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday, it delayed Monday's series opener at Oakland, slating a potential doubleheader for 5:30 p.m. Central time Tuesday at the Athletics as a makeup.
But it wasn't always so clear the Twins would be able to play Tuesday, as multiple rounds of testing and contact tracing sidelined the team and forced it to hunker down in the team hotel for days.
Twins players and staff have been wearing Kinexon devices, which help MLB teams contact trace in the COVID era. Some players use the small rectangles as a watch, while others slip it into their socks.
In the past couple of days, those little chips have proved their worth. The devices track and record whenever they are within 6 feet of another device, and for how long. So when someone tests positive, the team goes back and looks through that data to find whose devices intersected. Those people are then interviewed to see if they followed protocols, such as mask-wearing. Depending on the outcome of that process, people fall into four categories.
First are those who test positive, who must isolate for 10 days. The three who fall into that category in California will either stay here or, possibly, return to Minnesota via a private jet, as some Wild players did during a COVID outbreak on that team in Colorado earlier this season.
The second category is close contact, which means people who were within 6 feet of a case for 15 or more minutes. They must enter a seven-day quarantine. Some staff members initially entered this protocol after sitting close to the infected staff member on the long flight from Minneapolis to Southern California.
Those staff members eventually downgraded to "extra scrutiny," since they had followed all protocols when within the vicinity of the positive case and had tested negative several consecutive times. That requires only three days of quarantine.
The fourth, of course, is everyone who tested negative and hasn't been around someone who tested positive. But the whole team had to be retested after the two players came up positive, as the upticks caused some concern.
The negative personnel haven't necessarily locked up inside their hotel rooms, but their Saturday through Monday was basically heading down in small groups to the team-rented ballroom for spit and nasal testing early in the morning, grabbing some to-go food and drinks for meals and maybe talking a walk outside on their own.
The Twins offered players, staff and families the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on April 9. Some players, including Simmons, did not take the vaccine for personal reasons. The team has continued to encourage players to get vaccinated, but it has not reached the 85% threshold for loosened COVID-19 protocols. Immunity from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine takes from 15-30 days in most cases.
The Twins are scheduled to open a homestand Friday night against Pittsburgh, but are weighing options with a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial a possibility this week. A time change Friday, playing a doubleheader on the weekend, or playing without fans is a possibility, sources indicated.