Major League Baseball (MLB) says 27 teams will be participating in a coronavirus antibody testing study conducted by Stanford University and the University of Southern California.
CNBC reports that the test is not a diagnostic and will not say if a participant is currently infected with the coronavirus. Instead, it will measure whether individuals have been exposed or not. Officials at the MLB told CNBC reporters that the study will feature “rapid antibody tests.”
The goal of the test is to track the prevalence of COVID-19 infections and exposure among the U.S. population using the MLB volunteers. The results may help researchers understand how many people are infected and contagious but asymptomatic. Knowing the details about asymptomatic spread may help public officials make an informed decision as to when social distancing and other measures can be lifted.
CNBC notes that MLB’s employee and player population is more diverse in terms of age and geographies than other professional American sports, making it a more representative sample of the U.S.
According to The Athletic, the mass testing is called the COVID-19 Sero Prevalence Study, and will include approximately 10,000 MLB employees as volunteer participants.