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MLB players, staff to wear electronic tracing bands in effort to fight pandemic

MLB players, staff to wear electronic tracing bands in effort to fight pandemic

Major League Baseball (MLB) players and on-field staff members will have to wear electronic tracing wristbands at the start of spring training as part of efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that the wristbands are part of upgraded health protocols put in place by the MLB and the players’ association, and that failure to comply could result in disciplinary actions.

“Every covered Individual must wear a Kinexon contact tracing device at all times while in club facilities and during club directed travel and while engaged in team activities, including group workouts and practices,” reads a newly agreed-upon MLB operations manual obtained by the AP. “Repeated failure to wear the devices or repeated failure to return the devices to the Kinexon device docking station may be a basis for discipline.”

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The AP notes that players are not required to receive a coronavirus vaccine, though they are encouraged to do so.

Potential disciplinary actions that players could face include “suspension or forfeiture of salary for days spent away from the club while in mandatory self-isolation or quarantine resulting from the violation.”

Spring training is set to begin on Feb. 17 in Florida and Arizona. Players will be required to quarantine during training and may not leave their homes for reasons other than baseball-related activities, medical care, outdoor physical activity and other low-risk activities.

The NFL instated a similar requirement with tracking wristbands, though some players refused to wear them. As Yahoo News reported, New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara refused to wear the wristband and subsequently made it more difficult to track cases after he tested positive for COVID-19.