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Los Angeles County guidelines are more restrictive than MLB coronavirus protocols

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How Dodgers might be affected by county health protocols

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers-Workouts Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball’s COVID-19 injured list was designed with no determinate length, but Los Angeles County guidelines might mean a two-week absence for any affected Dodgers, per current public health guidelines.

Current LA County guidelines require those who have tested positive for coronavirus to self isolate for at least 10 days after symptoms first appeared. Those who are asymptomatic must isolate for 10 days after the test was taken. To be activated off a COVID-19 injured list, a player must satisfy a number of conditions, per MLB’s operations manual. Included is having no fever for 72 hours, consistent with LA County requirements. Also required before activation are two negative diagnostic tests at least 24 hours apart, one antibody test, and clearance from the team physician and the joint committee set up by MLB and the MLBPA.

In addition to those who have tested positive, LA County also requires that anyone in close contact with an infected person to quarantine for 14 days. LA County defines “close contact” as:

An individual who was within six feet of the infected person for more than 15 minutes

An individual who had unprotected contact with the infected person’s body fluids and/or secretions, for example, being coughed or sneezed on, sharing utensils or saliva, or providing care without wearing appropriate protective equipment.

The county defines an infected person as “anyone with COVID-19, or who is suspected to have COVID-19, and is considered to be infectious from 48 hours before their symptoms first appeared until they are no longer required to be isolated.”

Kenley Jansen reported to Dodgers camp on Sunday after missing the first 10 workouts. Jansen said he and his two sons tested positive for coronavirus a few weeks ago, and that within a few days after testing positive he was asymptomatic.

Gavin Lux and Tony Gonsolin also reported to camp last week after missing about a week, for undisclosed reasons. A.J. Pollock, Pedro Baez, Scott Alexander, and Keibert Ruiz haven’t yet reported to Dodgers camp, with undisclosed reasons. Similarly, non-roster players Cody Thomas, Zach Reks, and Edwin Uceta were placed on the injured list on July 7, also for undisclosed reasons.

True Blue LA reached out to the LA County Department of Health on Monday, but did not hear back.

Two weeks ago, after MLB and the MLBPA approved the league’s health and safety protocols, a spokesperson for the Department of Health told True Blue LA, “We are reviewing the manual and appreciate the efforts of the MLB to develop and implement health and safety protocols that protect players and employees. The leagues that operate franchises and teams in LA County are required to adhere to the County public health officer orders and protocols for all professional sports league that were previously issued.”

On Monday, Ken Rosenthal and Britt Ghiroli at The Athletic reported that both the Dodgers and Nationals faced these restrictive local regulations, noting, “The issue might create additional competitive disadvantages for both clubs if it lingers into the regular season, but officials from the teams and Major League Baseball are providing details to government officials in both locales that might lead to updated policies.”

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