Red Sox

Red Sox report no new positive COVID tests but place eight members in isolation

Relief pitcher Matt Barnes tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced on Saturday, just days before Opening Day.

Matt Barnes put his mask on after completing drills at the Red Sox' spring training complex on Feb. 27.

Eight members of the Red Sox organization are in isolation due to contact tracing protocols a day after it was announced relief pitcher Matt Barnes tested positive for COVID-19. While eight people are in isolation, no one else tested positive for the virus, the team announced Sunday.

“The last 12 hours or by the end of the Pittsburgh game has been more positive [news] than negative,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters Sunday morning. “The morning [Saturday] was a tough one, but I think we’re in a better spot than we were early yesterday.”

Cora didn’t say who was in isolation and didn’t specify if they were players or coaches. All members who came in close contact with Barnes on March 23, which was two days prior to when he took the test that resulted in a positive, or later will have to isolate for at least seven days.

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Some members in isolation can return if they remain asymptomatic throughout their isolation period and return a negative test in their fifth day of isolation or later. That could allow some of those in isolation to return to the team by Wednesday, the day before Opening Day, according to Cora.

Barnes, who is asymptomatic, is “in good spirits,” Cora said on Sunday.

“I talked to him [Saturday]. [He was] surprised,” Cora said. “But as you guys know we’ve been surprised for a year and a month. We don’t know how or when. The only thing is you talk to him and he walks you through his day, and what he did around here and all that. It’s like, ‘Well, it happens, I guess.’ That’s the way we see it.

“He’s in good spirits. Obviously disappointed that he won’t be able to be with us early in the season, but, at the same time, putting everything in perspective, he’s going to be OK, he’s going to be healthy, and he’s going to help us out whenever he’s ready.”

Barnes will remain in isolation for at least 10 days and can return to the team as early as April 5.

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