Manager David Ross and team president Jed Hoyer tested positive for COVID-19, the Cubs said Friday.
Ross and Hoyer are vaccinated. They are feeling well and quarantining, the team said, and bench coach Andy Green will manage the Cubs in the interim. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and MLB guidelines, Ross and Hoyer must remain in quarantine for at least 10 days.
It is not known when or how Ross and Hoyer were exposed to the virus, but they received news of their positive tests Friday morning.
There was no word on any players being unavailable for the game against the Pirates.
The Cubs are issuing tests to players to determine if there are any positive cases on the team.
“At this point, all of [Ross’] close contacts have been tested today, and we have no positive tests within the clubhouse,” Green said.
The team will step up some safety measures in an effort to contain potential spread. Green said that players will be reducing the amount of time they spend in the clubhouse, and those deemed to have been in close contact with either Ross or Hoyer will be tested daily until doctors tell them it’s safe to go back to the usual testing schedule set up by MLB.
In the dugout during games, coaches and players do not wear masks because they are outside, but Green said that they have been diligent about putting them on as soon as they step into the tunnel on the way to the clubhouse.
“We’re going to do everything we can to protect everybody in this clubhouse and minimize the opportunity for this to spread,” Green said.
During the next 10 days that Green is managing, he still will be in regular communication with Ross, who will have input on the day-to-day operations of the team.
“He’s going to continue to make calls behind the scenes,” Green said. “We’re going to talk consistently, and any kind of direction he’s got during his quarantine, we’re going to continue to put in place.”
Green managed the Padres from 2016 to 2019, and he was the Diamondbacks’ third-base coach in 2015. Before that, Green managed in the minor leagues from 2012 to 2014 and won the Southern League Manager of the Year award in 2013 and 2014. He was hired to be the Cubs’ bench coach in December 2019.
“I love hanging out with Rossy every day,” Green said. “He’s a lot of fun. He makes the clubhouse a lively place. Not everybody in the world is like that, so it’s gonna suck not being around him for the next 10 days. We hope all of us stay healthy and continue to test negative so we don’t have any further spread.”
The Cubs are among a handful of MLB teams that have failed to reach the 85% vaccination threshold required for the relaxation of COVID-19 protocols. Green hopes that Ross and Hoyer’s lack of symptoms will encourage players who aren’t vaccinated to reconsider.
“I think everything we’ve seen from a research perspective shows that those of us who choose to get vaccinated have [a] much greater likelihood that we’re asymptomatic or don’t experience any kind of major symptom, if we do have a symptom,” Green said. “So I think that’s the message for the unvaccinated guys in the clubhouse who have continued to make that choice, and for the unvaccinated people throughout our country who have continued to make that choice.”