Six LSU baseball players tested positive for the novel coronavirus over the summer, coach Paul Mainieri said Friday, but all the team’s results came back negative in its first round of testing earlier this week.
Mainieri said the six players caught the virus while living at home, adding “most of them” were either asymptomatic or experienced mild symptoms. Mainieri also said a couple staff members tested positive this summer.
LSU tested its returning players during physicals earlier this week as it prepares for fall practice to begin Sept. 20. The results were negative, Mainieri said. The team’s 17 incoming freshmen and junior-college transfers will receive tests Saturday.
Mainieri said players testing positive at home illustrated why LSU can keep them safer on campus. LSU will monitor vital signs during practices, and the baseball team has implemented a COVID-19 policy manual similar to MLB. It prohibits high-fives and spitting. Pitchers will sit in the stands during scrimmages, and coaches must wear face coverings at practice. The team has also changed its locker assignments to create more space between players.
“When they live at home and they’re doing the normal things they do, they’re coming into contact with people that potentially are carriers,” Mainieri said. “While we have them here at school and we can control a lot of the things they’re doing, I think we’ve got a better chance.”