MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Says League Is Using Utah Lab For COVID-19 Testing

May 15, 2020, 10:45 AM

Rob Manfred - MLB commissioner...

Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred Jr. speaks at a press conference on youth initiatives hosted by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association at Citi Field on June 16, 2016 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said that the league is using a Utah-based lab for COVID-19 testing and antibody testing as it puts together plans to start the 2020 baseball season.

Manfred detailed MLB’s use of the lab and the league’s protocols to combat the coronavirus pandemic during a CNN town hall interview with Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

“We have an arrangement with a lab in Utah that has historically done our Minor League drug testing. We paid — made an investment to convert them over to do the testing that we need in order to play. We have an established set of healthcare professionals that have done collections for drug testing that we’ll use for this same purpose,” Manfred said. “The lab in Utah has assured us of a 24-hour turnaround on all our tests. So we feel comfortable that by doing multiple tests a week and trying to minimize the turnaround time, we’re doing everything humanly possible to make sure that the players are safe.”

As Major League Baseball was preparing to start the 2020 season, the coronavirus pandemic in the United States shut down major league sports in the country and throughout the world.

Months later, the commissioner and MLB are trying to salvage the season with a start this summer.

Manfred said that the league has set up health protocols that “are about 80 pages in length” as is prepares to bring players back to work.

‘We have developed extensive protocols. A key to those is frequent testing,” Manfred said. “All of our players would be tested multiple times a week. PCR testing to determine whether or not they have the virus. That testing would be supplemented less frequently by antibody testing as well.”

In addition to frequent testing, the commissioner said that MLB would perform temperature checks and symptom analysis for every individual “each and every day.”

Along with these protocols, MLB won’t force players to come back to work. Whether that decision is based on a health-related condition or personal preference, Manfred said that players are welcomed to return when they feel ready.

One concern of baseball’s return to action is in regard to what happens if a player or employee tests positive for COVID-19. The commissioner said that MLB already has “contingency plans” in place if that occurs.

“Yeah, we are talking about all of our teams playing,” Manfred said. “I’ve talked to our governors in the 18 states where we play. Assuming we try to play some games in the first half of July, most governors expressed hope that we’d be able to use facilities, of course, initially without fans but we do have contingency plans if in fact there was a problem in a particular market. We have contingency plans where that team could play somewhere else, at least temporarily.”

The commissioner laid out the steps the league would take if MLB player tests positive during the season:

  • No 14-day quarantine for the entire team
  • The individual that tested positive will be removed from the rest of the group
  • A quarantine arrangement enacted in each facility and in each city affected
  • Contact tracing for the individual who tested positive
  • Point of care testing for those individuals discovered through contact tracing

Manfred said that the financial impact of baseball’s delayed start “are devastating” but if MLB doesn’t play a season, the losses for team owners could “approach $4 billion.”

Even without fans in ballparks, the commissioner said that the return of baseball would bring the start of a “return of normalcy” and “American life the way we’ve always enjoyed it.”

“We think historically, baseball’s played a role in the recovery from difficult events,” Manfred said.


porter hodge...

Brian Preece

Locals In MLB: Former Cottonwood Colt Set To Make MLB Debut With Chicago Cubs

Former Cottonwood Colt pitcher Porter Hodge could make his MLB debut this week after being called up by the Chicago Cubs on Friday, May 17.

2 days ago


Brian Preece

Locals In MLB: Oliver Dunn Demoted, One Utahn Stands At MLB’s Highest Level

The Milwaukee Brewers have pulled the plug on the Oliver Dunn experiment, sending Dunn down after he struck out ten times in 24 May at-bats. 

2 days ago

brett kerry salt lake bees...

Brian Preece

Salt Lake Bees Starter Brett Kerry Named PCL Pitcher Of The Week

Fourth-year pro Brett Kerry took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on Friday night, lifting the Salt Lake Bees to a 9-1 win over the Sacramento River Cats.

4 days ago

hunter dozier...

Brian Preece

Hunter Dozier’s Career Day Leads Salt Lake Bees Offense In Breakout Series

Former Kansas City Royal Hunter Dozier has been on a tear this week, leading the charge as the Salt Lake Bees bats got hot at home

9 days ago

Oakland A's Athletics MLB crowd...

JANIE McCAULEY AP Baseball Writer

The A’s Are Winning Again, Even If Only A Small Crowd Of Diehards Are In Coliseum To See It

Small crowds of diehards are determined to cheer their beloved A's this year before they relocate to Sacramento for the next three seasons.

9 days ago

Ippei Mizuhara ohtani...


Shohei Ohtani’s Ex-Interpreter Ippei Mizuhara Will Plead Guilty In Betting Case

Ippei Mizuhara, the former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani has agreed to plead guilty to bank and tax fraud.

11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Give-A-Thon

The KSL Sports Zone, KSL 5 TV, FM100.3, 103.5 The Arrow, and KSL NewsRadio have teamed up to raise money for the kids being served by Primary Children’s Care!


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Says League Is Using Utah Lab For COVID-19 Testing