MILWAUKEE — After days of growing concern and uncertainty, the Cardinals learned Monday that an outbreak of COVID-19 had engulfed nearly a fourth of their roster and forced a majority to remain in Milwaukee, in quarantine.
The Cardinals have 13 confirmed positives for the virus and have yet to go a day since arriving in Milwaukee without a new positive.
Of those 13, seven are players and six are staff members. Eight of the 13 are experiencing some mild symptoms of the virus, ranging from headaches to low-grade fevers. All 13 members of the traveling party who tested positive have been removed from Milwaukee and sent to their homes.
The remaining members of the teams must go two days with negatives tests to be cleared to travel.
The Cardinals hope to be able to travel Wednesday morning, by plane, to St. Louis and have a workout at Busch Stadium that afternoon.
"We are where we are," said John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations. "We’re all hopeful we can start taking steps forward. We all hear about flattening the curve and what that means in our country, in our states, in our cities. Looking at it from a baseball team standpoint, it’s a microcosm, and I will say based on last night’s testing we are encouraged that we are getting closer to that point. We are not there yet, but we are getting closer. That is why we will remain in self-isolation."
Their four-game series in Detroit against the Tigers has been postponed, and their visit to face the White Sox at the Field Dreams has been canceled. It is not clear when or how the Cardinals will play that series against the White Sox, though their next road trip is scheduled to be a week in Chicago.
The Cardinals next scheduled game is Friday against the Cubs at Busch Stadium.
The roster will look significantly different.
Seven players from the current 30-man roster will have to be replaced, and Major League Baseball has yet to alter its rule reducing the size of rosters to 28 on Thursday. The Cardinals will draw those players from the alternate-site camp in Springfield, Mo.
The Cardinals have not had any players who are still at the downtown Milwaukee hotel approach management about opting out for the season.
The 13 individuals who have tested positive invoked their right to privacy when asked by the club about disclosing their identifies. A few, when contacted by the media, have not responded or given permission to be disclosed, citing their medical privacy.
Every individual who tested positive will go seven days before being tested a game. At that point, the individual must have two negatives, separated by 24 hours, and also have one of them be the MLB lab test for confirmation. The individual must also be symptom free and go at least 72 hours without a fever.
It could be at least eight days after a second positive test for an individual to be cleared for a return to the team.
During the wave of positive tests the Cardinals had over the weekend, a former player who now works as an analyst for another National League team, Jerry Hairston Jr., tweeted that at least one Cardinal had visited a casino. He did not name the casino or make it clear where or when the visit to place. A visit to a casino in Milwaukee would not connect with the spread of the virus.
“I have no factual reason to believe that is true, and I have not seen any proof of that," Mozeliak said. "If they were at a casino, though, that would be disappointing.”
This is a breaking story with more details after Cardinals 3 p.m. news conference.
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