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Yankees-Red Sox game postponed Thursday due to positive COVID-19 tests in Yankees organization

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The second half of the 2021 MLB season is off to a rough start. Thursday's game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox was postponed due to COVID-19 issues, MLB announced Thursday.

The Yankees confirmed the postponement. 

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In a statement, MLB cited positive tests within the Yankees organization as the reason for the postponement. 

The contest was expected to be the first major-league game played after the All-Star break. The game was the only one on the MLB schedule Thursday.

Yankees dealing with positive COVID-19 tests

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said there are three positive COVID-19 tests among the players and three pending tests, also among the players.

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The three players who are confirmed positives — Jonathan Loaisiga, Nestor Cortes, and Wandy Peralta — were all fully vaccinated, according to Cashman.

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The team placed both Cortes and Peralta on the COVID-19 Injured List prior to the game. Cashman said the players who tested positive were doing OK.

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With uncertainty around the other tests, the Yankees canceled batting practice prior to Thursday's game. 

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Yankees positive tests could impact entire league

There's potential for the Yankees' positive tests to impact the entire league. Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers reportedly told ESPN's Marly Rivera one of the Yankees who attended the All-Star Game tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, Devers — who also went to the All-Star Game — was told he would have to undergo testing to make sure he doesn't have the virus.

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Yankees reached 85 percent COVID-19 vaccine threshold 

The Yankees are among the teams to reach MLB's 85 percent COVID-19 vaccine threshold of tier 1 employees. Teams that reach an 85 percent vaccination rate among tier 1 employees are allowed to relax COVID-19 protocols. 

Tier 1 consists of players, coaches, team physicians and other key staff within the organization. While the Yankees were able to reach that 85 percent threshold, some of the team's players are not vaccinated, according to Jon Heyman.

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It's unclear how many Yankees tested positive for COVID-19, though MLB's use of the word "tests" suggests multiple people in the organization tested positive for the virus. 

MLB has not postponed Friday's game between the teams, and will likely wait until the Yankees perform additional testing and contact tracing to make a call on that game and additional games in the series. 

New York Yankees logo on stadium seat.
The Yankees will not play the Red Sox on Thursday. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

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