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Cardinals employee tests positive for COVID-19

It is not clear whether the person is a player

ST. LOUIS — A member of the Cardinals organization has tested positive for COVID-19, 5 On Your Side's Frank Cusumano has learned.

"At this time they will be re-tested, self-quarantined, and further action is to be determined," Cardinals President John Mozeliak confirmed Tuesday morning.

Mozeliak did not say whether the person is a player.

SSM Health chief medical officer, Alexander Garza said with the MLB's plan, and the Cardinals' swift response to a positive test, they should be able to limit and control COVID-19.

“If you catch the disease quickly, then at least theoretically they have not become sick enough were their able to spread as much virus to other people,” Dr. Garza explained. 

Each player and team personnel will be tested every other day per the MLB's plan. Dr. Garza said the only better option would be testing every day, otherwise, he believes the plan in place can be effective. His only question, what happens when there’s a positive test?

“Do you then isolate the entire team or do you say well they were tested negative yesterday, or they tested negative today, therefore, we’re good to go even though you know your incubation period is going to be like four to five days,” Dr. Garza said. 

According to the MLB protocol, a player who tests positive for COVID-19 will have to quarantine and test negative twice, at least 24 hours apart before returning to the clubhouse among other league rules and local health requirements. 

But according to Dr. Garza, players aren’t the only ones to worry about.

"When you start adding in layers and layers of personnel and support people, and things like that, it becomes a lot more difficult to contain,” he said. 

Dr. Garza said he didn't envy the MLB's shot at playing a reduced season, but as far as fans being inside the stadium, that's a new ballgame he said. 

"It's outdoors so you get that benefit, what you couldn't have though are the vendors that walk up and down the aisles," Dr. Garza said. 

From getting in the stadium to vendors to the concession lines, and even leaving the game, Dr. Garza said he can't wrap his head around how the Cardinals could pull that off. 

"You combine all that work, the risk of exposure, plus the shortened season, it's like, is it really worth it," Dr. Garza said. "I think from a public health perspective the answer is no. From a fan's perspective, the answer is maybe, right?"

There's still no decision on whether fans will be permitted inside stadiums in 2020, but Dr. Garza said it ultimately decides on the fan's individual risk tolerance, but just thinking about it can make you crazy. 

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