The New York Yankees on Thursday said an eighth fully vaccinated member of the team has tested positive for COVID-19. MLB and the New York State Department of Health are assisting the team with the outbreak, the team said in a statement.
The team said Thursday that shortstop Gleyber Torres, who is fully vaccinated, tested positive for the virus and was placed on the COVID-19 injured list. They said he previously contracted the virus during the offseason.
Three coaches — Matt Blake, Phil Nevin, and Reggie Willits — have also tested positive, along with four members of the team's traveling staff. "All of the positives are breakthrough positives, occurring with individuals who were fully vaccinated," the statement said.
Six of the staff members and coaches who tested positive are asymptomatic and are quarantining in Tampa, Manager Aaron Boone said Wednesday.
"We're also learning as we go and getting informed as to what we need to do exactly and just try to do as best we can to be able to make quick adjustments on the fly," Boone said in a news conference. "Just doing the best we can with it all."
The Yankees were previously operating under relaxed MLB protocols after successfully reaching an 85% vaccination rate among players, coaches and support staff.
At a White House press briefing Thursday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky called the positive cases among the Yankees a possible instance of new variants but said that the cases don't negate how effective the vaccine is in large populations.
"My understanding is that six of the seven infections were asymptomatic infections and we look to more data from that report to understand what happened there," Walensky said. "All real-world data in large studies in settings demonstrate that vaccines are effective against disease"