Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Major League Baseball has in place a bevy of safety protocols that players and “tier 1 personnel” — including coaches, team staff, and Triple-A players — are required to follow. That is, unless an organization can successfully cross the 85% threshold for relevant employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The Milwaukee Brewers made an early push for their people and the good folks around the state of Wisconsin to get the vaccine during a team event in conjunction with the Milwaukee Health Department back in the first week of April, and recently the team successfully achieved the required 85% participation and will now enjoy relaxed safety protocols moving forward.
That means no more masks in the the dugouts and bullpens, and more freedom for players to get out and about during their downtime at home or on the road. Says ace Brandon Woodruff:
“It feels good. I think personally, for me, the benefits of the vaccine just outweigh a lot of other things. And as a team, given now that we have some freedom, it’s nice just to be able to go get coffee. You still have to respect the state and city rules and wearing a mask and stuff, but in terms of just getting out and getting a breath of fresh air, it’s nice. You don’t have to sit in a hotel room the whole time.”
Manager Craig Counsell noted that it is nice to have a greater sense of normalcy now in the dugout during the game, although he did say that the first night where masks were not required for the team felt “more strange more than good,” though surely that feeling will fade quickly.
In the official video that the Brewers put out last month, players talk about how the free vaccine is “safe and effective” and getting the shot is the best way one can do their part to beat the COVID-19 pandemic for good and get back to normal life.