WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 23: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases reacts after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 23, 2020 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The Miami Marlins have had 18 players and personnel test positive for the coronavirus, which could put a swift end to the 2020 MLB season.

Positive coronavirus cases continue to mount for the Miami Marlins franchise, as an additional four players and personnel have tested positive, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Still, Dr. Anthony Fauci labeled some optimism that the MLB season could avoid cancellation.

“This could put it in danger,” said Fauci in an interview with Good Morning America. “I don’t believe they need to stop, but we just need to follow this and see what happens with other teams on a day-by-day basis.”

This weekend saw the return of Major League Baseball, marking the first resumption of one of the four major North American leagues since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in full force back in March. With no bubble system in place for the MLB however, the danger remained at large for a widespread outbreak at one point or another, and it didn’t take long for the Marlins to succumb to the virus’s incognito nature.

News broke following Miami’s game against the Phillies on Sunday that multiple players and personnel willingly participated at Citizens Bank Park despite learning of their positive test results prior to first pitch. This backfired on the Marlins, as its series against the Orioles this week has been put on the backburner. Multiple players and personnel must enter quarantine. The Phillies suffered too, as its series against the New York Yankees was also postponed through Tuesday.

Prior to the season beginning, commissioner Rob Manfred installed various safety precautions to accommodate the safety and well-being of the league. Management of an outbreak was outlined in the commissioner’s return-to-play format, such as a pool of 60 players per team and consecutive negative COVID-19 tests to guarantee a player’s return to the field.

With all of these precautions in place, Dr. Fauci believes the protocols put in place will prove effective. Certainly, the Marlins losing nearly half of its active roster will put a large dent in the league’s hopes of playing out its season, but the infectious disease expert’s analysis of the situation reveals some hope of taming the virus.