Nats’ Season Opener Delayed Again Amid COVID Outbreak

The Washington Nationals’ 2021 season will have to wait one more day to begin.

The Nationals were set to host the Atlanta Braves Monday, but Major League Baseball postponed the opener of the three-game series amid a coronavirus outbreak on the team.

League officials announced Sunday night that the Nationals’ most recent round of coronavirus testing came back negative, clearing the way for the two teams to play 4:05 p.m. ET Tuesday at Nationals Park.

Washington general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters Sunday that 11 Nationals players are in quarantine because of a positive test or contact tracing, with four players testing positive for the virus and seven being isolated due to close contact.

The Washington Post first reported Nationals players Jon Lester, Kyle Schwarber, Josh Harrison and Alex Avila are among the players being quarantined but it is not clear whether it is due to a positive test or contact tracing.

Lester, Schwarber, Harrison and Avila and seven other players won’t play Tuesday if the Nationals take the field.

Washington’s first three games of the season — a three-game home set against the New York Mets on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday — had also been postponed.

The team will only allow up to 5,000 fans in the 41,339-seat park to start the season, per the city’s current coronavirus restrictions.

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