Eight members of the New York Yankees organization have tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated. Three coaches, four members of the traveling staff, and one player—Gleyber Torres—are affected, CBS News reports. Of those, seven are asymptomatic, CNN reports, and the one coach who did experience symptoms has already improved. Six of the staff members and coaches are quarantining in Florida, and Torres has been placed on the COVID injured list. Prior to this, the team had been operating under relaxed coronavirus protocols because it had reached an 85% vaccination rate. The New York State Department of Health is helping the team deal with the outbreak, the Yankees said in a statement.
"While there have been anecdotal reports of New Yorkers who have had a positive COVID test 14 or more days after receiving their last vaccine dose, DOH is investigating those cases along with the ones linked to the Yankees further to determine if they meet the formal CDC definition of vaccine breakthrough," the department says in its own statement. Experts are quick to point out that the mild symptoms reflect how effective the vaccines are at preventing severe disease, as well as to note only a tiny fraction of vaccinated Americans have reported a breakthrough COVID infection. Even so, Adam Rogers at Wired writes that this could be bad news for the CDC's declaration that the vaccinated need not wear masks: Breakthrough cases are underreported due to their mildness, so it's really not clear how common, or uncommon, a situation like this is. (Read more New York Yankees stories.)