Texas Rangers employees told ESPN they are “terrified” after several co-workers tested positive for COVID-19.
The staff members said they hope the organization will allow them to work from home but have felt pressured to report to their offices at the new $1.2 billion Globe Life Field in Arlington.
“We are terrified for our safety,” an employee who requested anonymity told ESPN. “Terrified to share COVID-19, unknowingly, with an older employee, a pregnant co-worker or anyone else who may have some sort of underlying condition. We all knew it would come to this. It was only a matter of time.”
More than 100 people work in the team’s executive offices and more than 200 employees are at the stadium on a daily basis, according to the report.
The team said the offices will be sanitized this weekend and employees can be tested on Monday and Tuesday.
The Rangers issued a statement Friday acknowledging the recent positive tests for the coronavirus.
“Over the last 48 hours, the Texas Rangers have received notification that several of our employees have received a positive test for COVID-19. The Rangers immediately began the protocols that we have in place for positive COVID tests, and any employee who had direct contact with these individuals was sent home and will undergo COVID-19 testing,” the statement said. “No individuals will be allowed back into the facility without receiving a negative COVID-19 test.
“The health and safety of our employees are a top priority, and the Rangers will continue to diligently enforce the pandemic protocols that are in place for front office employees at Globe Life Field. These include temperature checks upon entering the building, mandatory wearing of face coverings, and regular sanitation and cleaning of the Globe Life Field facilities.”
Texas was among the first states to reopen following coronavirus lockdowns. Employees began returning to work at Globe Life Field in early May. But coronavirus cases in the state have spiked over the past 10 days, with Texas reporting 5,707 new cases on Friday — the fourth straight day with more than 5,400.
Workers told ESPN that social distancing protocols became more difficult to follow and the use of masks became less prevalent as more and more people were allowed at the facility, which began hosting high school graduations in May.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said earlier this week that sports teams could allow attendance of up to 50 percent capacity, which would mean more than 20,000 fans at Globe Life Field when games are scheduled to begin later this month.
—Field Level Media