MLB could help provide COVID-19 tests for Americans?

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

As MLB continues to plan out a potential 2020 season, the league is hoping it could soon provide sports fans with a sense of normalcy with baseball returning in the summer. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the league is also looking to do even more to help Americans during the health crisis.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, MLB officials have discussed the league playing a role in providing COVID-19 test kits to Americans across the country. While such a move would require more testing kits becoming available, MLB is hoping it can eventually step in and provide tests for Americans in states where baseball is being played.

MLB has discussed multiple plans to bring baseball back with the hope being that the 2020 season could start on July 4. For that to happen, the league would need to frequently test all of its players, coaches and additional team personnel regularly.

It’s an issue the NFL is also set to face, with estimates suggesting the league might need 200,000 tests to test players weekly over a full season. In the case of MLB, with games being played every day and rosters expected to expand significantly, they would likely need even more testing kits.

Unfortunately, for both the sports world and the country, those resources aren’t currently available. At the end of April, the United States testing capacity stood at nearly 2000,000 people per day. The country is far short of its goal for tests per day.

If there are more COVID-19 tests available next month with an even greater supply readily available later in the summer, MLB could take advantage. The league could buy as many testing kits as it needed and, to gain a favorable impression, could also help provide testing kits to communities in need.

Given MLB’s latest plan to bring baseball back is based on playing in multiple states and expanding as more stay-at-home restrictions are lifted, there would be an opportunity to help many Americans in need. While we still might be a few months from baseball returning, it’s a great step by MLB to look for ways to both provide an escape for fans and potentially give them real help during this crisis.