Less than one percent of 5,603 Major League Baseball employees tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, an indication that the rate of infection in the community is far lower than expected, according to a study released Sunday.
“I was expecting a larger number of people to test positive,” said Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a lead researcher at Stanford University. “These numbers indicate these numbers haven’t spread very far. But at the same time, we have had a zero percent mortality rate.”
The largest nationwide antibody study, which involved 26 of the league’s 30 teams, was held in mid-April and was intended to provide data about the coronavirus infection rate. The results found a 0.7 percent prevalence of antibodies among MLB employees.
About 70 percent of those who tested positive for the antibodies did not show symptoms of the virus. Bhattacharya cautioned that the study is not an accurate representation of the United States population as 60 percent of those tested were men and 80 percent were white.
“There’s a socioeconomic gradient where poorer populations are facing COVID infections at higher rates,” he said, adding that the MLB employees “are more well to do than a typical population.”