While some people are now tossing their masks aside, no longer required to wear them on certain airlines or in Uber rides or most businesses, the Mariners had noticeably put them back on before Tuesday’s game.

With the organization dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak, manager Scott Servais and the members of his coaching staff were wearing masks in the clubhouse along with members of the training staff and support staff. Servais even wore his mask during his pregame media session in the dugout.

His first comment:

“Luis Torrens tested positive for COVID and that’s why you saw Mike Ford on the roster today,” he said. “We’ve lost a couple other kinds of support staff, and we had to shuffle some things around here a little bit based on the COVID situation over the last 24 to 48 hours. That’s why I’m wearing a mask. I want to try and take all precautions. With the protocols MLB has in place, we don’t want to start losing more players.”

Ford appeared in the clubhouse with his equipment bag before the announcement was made, causing immediate speculation about another player testing positive.  

Torrens joins Mitch Haniger on the COVID injured list.

There has been some clarification on the COVID-19 rules regarding a positive test for a player or member of the coaching staff.

Per an MLB executive, a player is subject to quarantine for 10 days from the first report of symptoms or the positive test, whichever came first. That player can end isolation and return to play before the 10 days if he has two negative tests, shows no fever for 24 hours and receives approval from the team doctor and a joint committee. Players and coaches who are fully vaccinated can start testing two days after a positive test if they are showing no symptoms while non-vaccinated players and coaches have to wait five days from the positive test and show no symptoms before retesting.

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The Mariners hope that the precautions of wearing masks can slow the spread that is hitting the clubhouse.

MLB sources said there have been multiple positive tests for staff members who work directly with players or in the clubhouse as well as support staff and employees who also operate on the field and clubhouse. It’s the first major COVID outbreak that has involved players since May 2021.

Servais said that Andy Bissell, a coaching assistant who handles the team’s instant replay appeals, also tested positive. The Mariners will use Sam Reinertsen, their advanced scout, and Dan Kaplan, assistant video coordinator, for help with replays.

“It’s not just watching the screen, it’s how you handle the equipment and what views and angles to look at,” Servais said. “Of course, there will probably be six close calls tonight and we’ll be on top of it. We’ll do the best we can.”

Ford, 29, has played in 11 games with Class AAA Tacoma this season, posting a .317/.404/.488 slash line with a double, two homers, five RBI and five walks.

MLB no longer requires weekly mandatory testing for players or staff. Players are only required to test if they report symptoms. A year ago, the Mariners were one of the least vaccinated teams in MLB. Sources indicate that this year’s team has a larger percentage of players vaccinated. That number will become apparent when the Mariners travel to Toronto on the evening of May 15 for a three-game series vs. the Blue Jays starting May 16. Players are required to be fully vaccinated to enter Ontario.