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Cleveland Guardians return home to battle tough opponent, COVID variant

Reds and Tigers on the schedule, manager and coaches not on the bench
The Guardians return to the dugout against the Reds but it's unclear when the coaching staff...
The Guardians return to the dugout against the Reds but it's unclear when the coaching staff can return to the bench(Vic Gideon)
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 2:08 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - “We’re a good team, we’re going to go out and compete and I think the guys have taken it to heart and we’ve been in every game,” said Guardians pitcher Tristan McKenzie about the team’s recent road trip to Chicago and Minnesota.

But the Guardians have not just battled the White Sox and Twins, but also COVID.

“Although we’re tired of it and we wish that everything was exactly back to normal, it can’t be,” said Dr. Claudia Hoyen, director of infectious control for Rainbow Babies & Children’s and University Hospitals Systems.

Manager Terry Francona and his staff tested positive for COVID Wednesday, canceling a game and forcing the team to use a new set of coaches from the minor leagues.

Much has changed regarding COVID in the last two years but much has stayed the same.

“There are still people dying from it,” said Dr. Hoyen, but said vaccines have made a huge difference. “If you have been vaccinated, you are very unlikely to end up in the hospital, very unlikely to end up in the ICU, and very unlikely.”

Dr. Hoyen says the latest variant, BA.2 is 30% more contagious than BA.2, but not as deadly as the Delta variant.

But the game plan remains the same.

“We still need to protect those who need protection and we also need to insure we’re not overwhelming the health care system,” said Dr. Hoyen.

She said she wouldn’t be surprised if mask mandates return at variants BA.4 and BA.5 come to the United States in the fall.

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