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Cardinals address rumors of how COVID-19 infiltrated the team

“My understanding is how it got in was from an outside source, not anybody in our group going out doing anything," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said

ST. LOUIS — The Cardinals are back home in St. Louis and starting to get back in their normal routine after 13 members of the organization tested positive for COVID-19 this past week in Milwaukee.

The team flew back to St. Louis and practiced on Wednesday at Busch Stadium, and is planning to resume their schedule on Friday against the Chicago Cubs.

Since the Cardinals' first positive tests were announced, many people have been looking for a reason, or reasons, to point to when it comes to how the team may have first contacted the virus.

Watch: Mike Shildt talks for the first time since Cardnials' COVID-19 outbreak

There have been rumors on social media, some being amplified by prominent figures in the sport, that the team had not been especially responsible in regards to going out and being among people, where the virus can spread.

Former Major League player Jerry Hariston for example proposed the Cardinals may have visited a casino.

Over the past few days, Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak and Cardinals manager Mike Shildt have addressed the responsibility of their players, and how the virus may have reached the team.

“Clearly something happened that allowed this to get into our space,” Shildt said Wednesday. “My understanding is how it got in was from an outside source, not anybody in our group going out doing anything. Reports to that are pretty irresponsible, quite honestly. The fact of the matter is somebody got it, asymptomatic, and brought it into the clubhouse.

"I don't think there's anything we could've done differently on the road. I'm very confident that this originated in St. Louis and the timing of the test dictated it that we happened to be on the road. So I don't know what we could do differently than not put someone infected on our plane," Mozeliak said Monday after it was revealed 13 members of the organization had tested positive.

As for the casino rumor that had circulated online, Mozeliak refuted the claim on Monday.

"I have no factual reason to believe that is true. And I have not seen any proof of that... If someone was at a casino though, that would be disappointing," Mozeliak said.

Players Yadier Molina, Paul DeJong, Edmundo Sosa, Rangel Ravelo, Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley were the six of the seven to test positive who opted to share their diagnoses.

Mozeliak said the scrutiny being placed on players who test positive as having done something "wrong" is a factor that's weighing on the club.

"I think they're more saddened by just the way people are looking to accuse someone that actually has it," Mozeliak said Tuesday after the names were released. "And I think the reluctance going public is just how people are being viewed. And I can certainly understand that.."

On Wednesday, Shildt was supportive of his players, saying that while he can't vouch for their activities at all times, his team has remained responsible.

“This thing is stealthy and it moves quick. It is clearly nasty. I don’t know what more some people could have done," Shildt said. "I know people were diligent about what they were doing at the ballpark. I’m pretty comfortable that people were diligent away from the ballpark."