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Saturday, June 27, 2020

Several Rangers employees test positive for COVID-19, less than two weeks after mandate to return to office

Earlier this month, CBS Sports reported that the Texas Rangers had become the first known Major League Baseball team to bring workers back into the office—and had done so despite surging COVID-19 cases in Tarrant County. Not even two weeks have passed, yet CBS Sports can confirm a report by ESPN’s Jeff Passan that “several members” of the organization have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days, according to an internal announcement.

CBS Sports has since obtained and reviewed the internal memo issued to Rangers employees on June 11, days before the mandate to come back went into effect.

The memo, entitled “Front Office Re-Opening Guidelines,” does not explicitly require employees to return to the office, but the section on remote work leaves little room for interpretation. “We are excited to invite everyone back to work,” the memo reads. “Remote work may be offered depending on the circumstances to employees who have child care issues or who have a medical condition and are in need of an accommodation.”

The memo then identifies an employee in the human resources department to contact for “approval of that request,” indicating two things: 1) returning to the office is not a voluntary arrangement; and 2) the team is retaining the right to deny requests as it sees fit.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 27, 2020 at 09:54 AM | 113 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: coronavirus, rangers

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   101. Tin Angel Posted: June 28, 2020 at 09:26 PM (#5960074)
The thing is, it's not even THAT much of an inconvenience.


While I agree with your sentiments, most people I hear say this seem to have the option to work from home, and only wear a mask when they have to run an errand. I have a friend that is a waiter in Chicago that would disagree that wearing a mask eight hours a day in the heat is more than a little inconvenient.
   102. Tony S Posted: June 28, 2020 at 09:32 PM (#5960076)
While I agree with your sentiments, most people I hear say this seem to have the option to work from home, and only wear a mask when they have to run an errand. I have a friend that is a waiter in Chicago that would disagree that wearing a mask eight hours a day in the heat is more than a little inconvenient.


This is true. My local CVS provided face shields to its employees -- don't know if those are less uncomfortable or not. At least they're protecting them.
   103. Greg Pope Posted: June 28, 2020 at 09:34 PM (#5960078)
Even Dick Cheney is wearing a mask.
   104. SoSH U at work Posted: June 28, 2020 at 09:38 PM (#5960080)
While I agree with your sentiments, most people I hear say this seem to have the option to work from home, and only wear a mask when they have to run an errand. I have a friend that is a waiter in Chicago that would disagree that wearing a mask eight hours a day in the heat is more than a little inconvenient.


But most of the people complaining about it are those who only have to wear them a short time.

Choosing not to wear a mask while you're in a store for 15 minutes when the staff is required to wear them for six- or eight-hour shifts is about the most widespread inconsiderate behavior I can remember seeing.
   105. Greg Pope Posted: June 28, 2020 at 09:39 PM (#5960081)
I agree with 99 percent of what you say, Greg. I'd note only that it's not just that "some people decided ..." it's that some national and state leaders declared and Fox (along with AON and fringier sites)was happy to run with it.

These are influential people and institutions who actively resisted learning anything.


Yeah, I get that. It's really frustrating.
   106. Tony S Posted: June 28, 2020 at 09:40 PM (#5960082)
Choosing not to wear a mask while you're in a store for 15 minutes when the staff is required to wear them for six- or eight-hour shifts is about the most widespread inconsiderate behavior I can remember seeing.


Especially when the staff is wearing them to protect YOU.
   107. Walt Davis Posted: June 28, 2020 at 10:01 PM (#5960083)
I haven't seen a reaction yet from the NRL but there's been an outbreak in Victoria and it's reported the Queensland heath department just announced "Queensland sporting teams across all codes must quarantine for 14 days if they play a Melbourne team in Qld, play a match in Melbourne, or play in another state against a team who has been in Melbourne in the preceding 14 days."

I don't remember if Qld even has an AFL team but they would be affected as well. So would the soccer league hoping to start up again. (FYI, all "codes" means across all sports and all levels ... unless they've exempted the pro leagues. I couldn't find the actual text on the Qld health website, I'm going off of media reports.)
   108. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 28, 2020 at 10:29 PM (#5960084)
You can do that if you're some little island in the middle of the Pacific(*), but it would be the end of the MLB Season.


(*) In the Houston paper today, someone commented about his concern and relief to live in a country that had fewer than Harris County's 361 deaths as of that time. Another commenter replied, "Where do you live, Fiji or some other island in the middle of the Pacific?"

I suppose that's part of the pathology behind masklessness, the idea that real countries have lots of deaths.
   109. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: June 29, 2020 at 12:11 AM (#5960086)
the dot disappeared from the site.

When did that happen? Why?
   110. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 29, 2020 at 01:16 AM (#5960087)
And then you compare photos from protests and the revelers. Notice who responsibly wears masks, and who are mouth-breathing fools and it becomes even more obvious.
Apparently some here don’t see that many photos. One-third of those wanted for vandalizing the Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Park neglected to wear a mask, a decision that seems unwise without even considering the public health issues.
   111. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 29, 2020 at 08:32 AM (#5960094)
I don't remember if Qld even has an AFL team


They have two: the Brisbane Lions and the Gold Coast Suns.
   112. Walt Davis Posted: June 29, 2020 at 06:46 PM (#5960276)
FWIW, I use Texas as my US Australia equivalent. Australia is around 25 million now, Tex around 30 M. Two major cities -- Melb and Syd both in the 4-5 M range, similar but smaller to Dallas and Houston. The other "big" Oz citties aren't nearly as populous as Austin or San Antonio but compare with the other metro areas in Tex. Both economies have a heavy reliance on natural resources (mining in Oz), both politically conservative (Oz not as conservative). Oz is massively larger geographically so the outback is even less dense than rural Texas but both are places no sensible person wants to live. :-) If you look at world university rankings, there's even some clustering there (last I looked, my uni was on a par with UT-Dallas). Texas economy is estimated at 1.8 T, Oz ia at 1.4 T which is just a couple thousand difference in GDP/capita. (US$)

Anyway, there have been 104 Covid deaths and 7800 known positives down here. Melbourne is having an outbreak with 75 new cases yesterday which is nearly all of the new locally transmitted cases for the country. (There are a couple of local cases in Sydney and a handful of cases among overseas returnees who are isolated upon return regardless.) Texas by contrast has 152,000 cases and 2,407 deaths. Houston is at about 250 new cases per day -- a number Melbourne might unfortunately be on its way to.

It is of course easy to close Australia's borders. But internally several states also closed their borders which is not particularly easier than Texas doing so (although there are fewer roads/airports to worry about).

Victoria has responded to the outbreak with a testing blitz of the hotspots (a few areas of Melbourne account for most of it) with 100,000 tests over 10 days -- reportedly about half the population in those areas. (It's not clear they'll get there, the demand has been high so long lines, etc.) Texas to its credit has done nearly 400,000 tests over the last 10 days.

I'd still say a big chunk of that difference is luck -- we just didn't have many early cases so got to see Italy, Spain, UK, New York, etc. which, along with the models produced here, finally convinced the government to get serious. Up to that point, they were acting much closer to the UK/US model of "go about your business." In many ways, the change in attitude and policy was driven by the states but the Fed government did step up big on the economic side (not perfectly, not very efficiently, but big) and finally started talking a serious "listen to the health experts" approach. They were also pushed into it by the behavior of the people -- international and domestic travel/tourism collapsed before the lockdown, school attendance was down to 50% before any schools closed, we were first in the world in hoarding toilet paper for no good reason (and we're back at it).

On those lines, there was an interesting study a few weeks ago comparing Sweden and Denmark's economies. Sweden of course didn't officially lock down, Denmark did. But Sweden's spending was off about 25% compared with 29% for Denmark. Sweden staying open doesn't seem to have helped their economy all that much. That's just two countries in the short term of course and I don't know that they had enough data to look at things like under- and unemployment, etc. But, rational or not, nobody but Aubrey Huff wants to go out to a bar and catch a potentially deadly virus. Step 1 of economic recovery would seem to be convincing people it's safe to be out and I'd think that squashing the thing is the better way to do that than "we'll just have to live with it." Even when the thing rebounds from squashing, at least people know society took it seriously, they survived, they know (or at least believe) that they can squash it again if need be.

Anyway, I've got a week of cycling in northern NSW coast planned in a couple of weeks. The Qld border was scheduled to open on July 10 but this Melbourne thing might get that pushed back which would mean I'll miss the nicest rides. It's unlikely at this stage I think but if this thing crosses into NSW, it's possible we'll be back in lockdown and I'll have to miss the trip entirely (or will choose to).

Trivial compared with JRVJ and all the other folks out there with it or with friends/family with it.
   113. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 29, 2020 at 10:47 PM (#5960308)
Thanks for all of that, Walt. It's a post I'll print out and hold onto. Lots of good stuff.
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