In the joy of baseball returning, the pandemic struck the Rangers’ organization Friday night. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, multiple co-workers of the Texas Rangers tested positive for coronavirus. The Rangers’employees returned to work just twelve days ago, and only a few employees received waivers about working from home. A few employees talked to ESPN about their safety and the fear of coming into work. “We are terrified for our safety,” said one employee. The Rangers organization issued out the following statement Friday night:
“Over the last 48 hours, the Texas Rangers have received notification that several of our employees have received a positive test for COVID-19. The Rangers immediately began the protocols that we have in place for positive COVID tests. Any employee who had direct contact with these individuals was sent home and will undergo COVID-19 testing,” the statement said. “No individuals will be allowed back into the facility without receiving a negative COVID-19 test.
“The health and safety of our employees are a top priority, and the Rangers will continue to diligently enforce the pandemic protocols that are in place for front-office employees at Globe Life Field. These include temperature checks upon entering the building, mandatory wearing of face coverings, and regular sanitation and cleaning of the Globe Life Field facilities.”
No team in baseball has as many employees coming to the offices on a daily basis as the Rangers, who have ~200. They will sanitize their offices this weekend and offer coronavirus testing to employees Monday and Tuesday. They could re-asses their work-from-home policy thereafter.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 27, 2020
The Rangers began a course of action this weekend by sanitizing the offices and offering COVID-19 tests as early as Monday or Tuesday. The club will reevaluate their work from home policy this upcoming week. Throughout the day, employees could come into contact with as many as two-hundred different individuals daily. Throughout June, the organization allowed fans to take a first-look tour (tickets required) to tour new Globe Life Field with masks not needed. Any individual attending the tour received a mask and had their temperature check before entering the ballpark. I participated in the tour last Friday and can tell you that out of our group of twelve people, everybody (except a little girl) wore a mask, and I probably came into contact with about fifty to sixty people overall during that hour and a half. The tour guides wore plastic face shields during the tour instead of masks.
With Rangers camp schedule to open at Globe Life Field next Friday, there’s no word if any changes will happen. Earlier on Friday, Governor Greg Abbott ordered all bars to close and restaurants to operate at fifty percent. Also, Tarrant County officials made masks a requirement for businesses starting at 6 pm Friday, though a few cities already announced they won’t enforce the order. For now, stadiums in Texas can still hold a fifty percent capacity, meaning if there’s no mandated change between now and the home opener, the Rangers could even see about 20,000 fans at Globe Life Field come next month (unless the Rangers’ personally oppose).
Order starts 6 PM TOMORROW.
— William Joy (@WilliamJoy) June 25, 2020
There’s no detail on how health protocols will work if fans are allowed. During my tour, the guide advised us only to use the restroom by the Grand Slam gift shop in center field. However, that didn’t stop a few folks from using the upper deck restroom. I guess the question in place is, “would it just be easier to negate fans to start the year instead of imitating a health protocol and try to enforce it fully?” If anything we as a society learned during this pandemic, people don’t take protocol enforcement as seriously as they should.
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