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Fully vaccinated Nationals player tests positive for COVID

The unidentified player is asymptomatic and had contact with another unvaccinated player.

WASHINGTON — A fully vaccinated player on the Washington Nationals tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, according to coach Davey Martinez. The player, who Martinez did not identify by name, is currently asymptomatic, and had contact with one other unvaccinated player. 

According to an ESPN report, Martinez said Wednesday that neither of the affected players would have been in the lineup for that night's game against the Cubs and neither would have been coming in off the bench. He was unsure when either player would be available to play again. 

The Washington Post reported that pitcher Erick Fedde was the vaccinated player who tested positive and that Tanner Rainey was the unvaccinated player who had contact and was asked to quarantine. Both pitchers are still listed as "out" on the most recent injury reports

Most of the Washington Nationals got vaccinated in April with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the day before the FDA announced a pause of the vaccine amid blood clot issues. The J&J shot was paused for 11 days in the U.S. but has since been resumed as a COVID-19 vaccine option. 

The MLB had a goal of having 85% of players on each team vaccinated, but it was not mandatory for any team member. The idea for the players to get vaccinated came after the Nationals had a COVID-19 outbreak at the beginning of the season that saw four players test positive for the virus and put 13 other players and a staff member on COVID-19 protocol.

“It gave me a little bit of relief," Martinez said following the team vaccinations. "Only time will tell ... For me it’s the safest way to get through this pandemic."

Martinez did not receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with the team, as he received two doses, meaning he either got Moderna or Pfizer.  

The Nationals announced Wednesday that starting June 10, Nationals Park will be open at 100% capacity and effective May 21, fully vaccinated fans will not be required to wear masks/face coverings at games.

Currently, the team is 17-23 heading into a homestand series against AL rivals, the Baltimore Rivals. The Nats are in last place in the NL East. 

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