Nationals’ Juan Soto cleared to play after negative COVID-19 tests, per report

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Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto has been cleared to play after testing positive for the coronavirus, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Under MLB’s health and safety protocol, in order for a player to return to play after testing positive for the virus, he needs to get have negative results at least 24 hours apart. 

Soto, who has already missed five games this season, will still need to get the green light from public-health officials in Washington, D.C., before he can return to action, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.

Soto tested positive for the coronavirus shortly before last week’s season opener against the Yankees, but he was never believed to have exhibited any symptoms. Outside of the public-health clearance from the local government, the club would still need to formally activate Soto from the COVID-19 injured list before he could return to the lineup. The Nationals host the Blue Jays (GameTracker) on Wednesday at 6:05 p.m. ET. 

After the Miami Marlins experienced a COVID-19 outbreak earlier this week, the vast majority of Nationals players voted not to travel to Miami for safety reasons. The Marlins were scheduled to play a three-game series against the Nationals this weekend. Under the league’s revised schedule, the Nationals will not play this weekend while the Marlins are on hiatus.

Soto, 21, hit .282/.401/.548 (138 OPS ) with 32 doubles, five triples, 34 homers, 110 RBI, 110 runs, 12 steals and 7.4 WAR last season. The Nationals are off to a slow start in 2020, currently sitting in last place in the NL East with a 1-4 record.

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