MLB allowing five more teams to relax COVID-19 protocols after vaccinations

Five more major league teams are allowed to relax coronavirus protocols after 85% of their players and other on-field personnel completed vaccination for COVID-19, raising the total to 12 of the 30 clubs.

Major League Baseball and its players' union said Friday that four additional teams had reached the 85% level of having received final doses and would be able to relax protocols within two weeks once they are fully vaccinated. The teams were not identified.

Relaxed protocols include dropping the requirements for face masks in dugouts and bullpens and loosening restrictions on mobility during road trips.

MLB said 83.9% of all Tier 1 individuals, such as players, managers, coaches, trainers and support personnel, had been at least partially vaccinated, with 77.6% of Tier 1 individuals considered fully vaccinated.

There were 10 new positive results -- three players and seven staff -- among 10,639 monitoring tests in the past week, a 0.09% positive rate. The New York Yankees said they had eight positive tests: shortstop Gleyber Torres, pitching coach Matt Blake, third-base coach Phil Nevin, first-base coach Reggie Willits and four traveling staff. Manager Aaron Boone said Thursday that all eight positive tests came from people who were fully vaccinated.

This season, there have been 54 positive tests -- 30 players and 24 staff -- among 156,276 samples tested, a 0.03% positive rate. The positive tests are among 22 teams.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.