KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals organization on Sunday underwent its second round of COVID-19 testing to ensure MLB health and safety protocols are being met.
Manager Mike Matheny spoke with media, explaining how players, coaches and staff would all conduct tests -- something he thinks is crucial in order to keep operations going safely.
“I got a little cottonmouth right now," Matheny said. "I’m a little bit worried because when I walk out of this room and we're having our second round of testing again today. It’s more spit than what you think when we're not allowed to have anything to drink for 30 minutes prior.”
The first year Royals manager said tests are noninvasive and pretty simple, but highly accurate. Testing rounds like Sunday's will continue to help regulate safety on top of other protocols required daily by the MLB.
“We have an app [on our phones] that we go to that goes through [a] list of question[s], and then we take our temperature twice before we leave home," Matheny said. "Then once we get to the ballpark, we have a face-to-face screening, from a safe distance of course. Then we take our temperature two more times and then were given access to the stadium.”
It's a process, but the Royals understand it’s what has to be done in order to play. Royals Nicky Lopez said it's just the new normal.
“You kinda gotta hold each other accountable," Lopez said, "and sometimes we just forget and whether that’s to sanitize your hands or put your mask on -- and that’s something that has been kinda difficult because you just sometimes forget because you’re not really used to it.”
Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield agreed.
“When we're out on the field, that’s comfortable. That’s normal. That’s what we can do best, Merrifield said. "Now stepping off the field, doing things off the field is where we're gonna have to get constantly reminded to follow the health and safety protocols.”
With only 60 games, assuming a game every day, a positive test would mean a player would miss about one-fourth of the season.