When Major League Baseball players land on the injured list this summer, fans will be left to speculate whether the cause was a positive test for the coronavirus.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) will prevent clubs from revealing the names of those who have COVID-19, Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer and New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman said Tuesday.
"We're allowed to talk about numbers, but we're not allowed to give individual names," Hoyer told ESPN. "It's up to those individuals to decide if they want to announce it. As a group, with the media, we're going to have some conversations about what we can talk about and what we can't talk about. We're not at liberty to say which injured list a player is placed on."
Cashman said on a conference call with reporters, "The information I've been given is (the media) will be left to try to figure that out. Somebody might be down and out, but we might not be able to speak to why, and it would be a speculating circumstance (for which) you would have to use your journalistic superpowers to determine if there's anything there or not, what the circumstance might be."
MLB plans to institute a "COVID-19-Related Injured List," though players could wind up on that list merely for exposure to the virus or by having symptoms rather than testing positive.
Any players who contract the virus will be required to self-isolate. They won't be allowed to be reinstated by the team until they have tested negative twice, with the two tests separated by at least 24 hours, remain symptom-free for 72 hours and gain approval from a team doctor.
--Field Level Media