Majority of MLB teams have relaxed coronavirus protocols as two more join list

A majority of Major League Baseball's 30 teams have been able to relax coronavirus protocols after two additional clubs qualified and raised the total to 16 franchises reaching 85% vaccinations for players and other on-field personnel.

However, the pace of vaccinations has slowed markedly.

The commissioner's office and players' association said Friday that three additional teams had reached the 85% level of having received final doses and would be able to relax protocols within the next 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 more than 84% of all Tier 1 individuals -- such as players, managers, coaches, trainers and support personnel -- had been partially or fully vaccinated, up just 0.1% from the previous week, and 81.2% had been fully vaccinated, up 2.4% from the previous week.

This season, there have been 62 positive COVID-19 tests -- from 34 players and 28 staff -- among 176,260 samples tested, a 0.035% positive rate. The positive tests are among 23 teams.

Also Friday, the Philadelphia Phillies said they will return to 100% capacity at Citizens Bank Park for their June 4 game against the Washington Nationals. Philadelphia had said May 13 that they would reach full capacity June 12 against the New York Yankees. The change allows full houses for six additional games.