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(LEAD) After 2 positive tests, rest of minor league baseball team tests negative for COVID-19

All News 15:46 September 02, 2020

(ATTN: CHANGES headline, lead; RESTRUCTURES with more negative tests; ADDS photos)
By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) -- Following positive cases for two of their players, the rest of the Hanwha Eagles' minor league affiliate has tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

This photo, taken on Sept. 1, 2020, shows the Futures League training facility for the Korea Baseball Organization club Hanwha Eagles in Seosan, 150 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced Wednesday that 95 of 97 players, coaches and staffers for the Eagles' Futures League club have tested negative for COVID-19.

Pitcher Shin Jung-rak tested positive late Monday, becoming the first South Korean professional athlete to be infected. Another minor leaguer, whose identity was withheld, joined Shin on the list late Tuesday.

Shin's infection sent the Eagles scrambling to get the rest of the minor league club tested. Other than one additional positive test, everyone else came out negative.

Earlier on Wednesday, the LG Twins, two of whose minor leaguers had come in contact with Shin last week, announced that their entire Futures League club tested negative.

Reserves and coaches of the Hanwha Eagles watch their team play a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game against the Doosan Bears while wearing masks in the dugout at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Sept. 1, 2020. (Yonhap)

The KBO noted that, of all the individuals who tested negative from the two clubs, 59 have been categorized by health officials as having come in close contact with Shin. Those people are 50 Hanwha players, seven Hanwha coaches, one Hanwha club official and one LG player. They will be quarantined at home for the next 10 or so days, the KBO said.

In addition, two recent Hanwha call-ups who had been with Shin in the Futures League will also enter 14-day quarantine, even though they both tested negative.

Members of the Hanwha Eagles enter Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul for a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game against the Doosan Bears on Sept. 1, 2020. (Yonhap)

The Futures League teams are divided into the Northern League and the Southern League. The Eagles and the Twins are both playing in the Northern League, and all Northern League games through Sunday have been canceled.

The Eagles' Futures League club will not play until Sept. 15.

In this file photo from Aug. 27, 2020, LG Twins players celebrate their 2-0 victory over the KT Wiz in a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul. (Yonhap)


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