By CBSNewYork Team

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York Yankees announced that Thursday’s series-opening game against the Boston Red Sox has been postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests within the organization.

Major League Baseball released a statement saying the postponement is to allow for continued testing and contact tracing.

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“Following positive COVID-19 tests within the New York Yankees organization, tonight’s game between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium has been postponed to allow for continued testing and contact tracing.  Major League Baseball will continue to provide scheduling updates as available,” the statement read.

According to the The Associated Press, the Yankees had reached the 85% vaccination threshold necessary for a loosening of league COVID protocols such as dropping mask use in dugouts and bullpens.

Earlier Thursday, the organization had announced it was placing left-handed pitchers Nestor Cortes and Wandy Peralta on the COVID-19 injured list.

The AP reports that the Yankees were on the field taking batting practice about three and a half hours prior to the game when the organization asked the media in attendance to leave the field in order to conduct COVID testing.

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General manager Brian Cashman told reporters that there were six players who either had tested positive or may be positive.

“[The vaccine] does not prevent contracting COVID, it just lessens those effects, so we are still vulnerable as the population is to obviously experiencing COVID,” he said.

Thursday’s game was set to be the start of a four-game set against the Red Sox with three of the games airing on national television. It marks the eighth time this season that an MLB game has been postponed due to COVID-19, the first since April 19 when a game between the Minnesota Twins and Oakland Athletics was shelved.

CBS2’s Otis Livingston contributed to this report.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

CBSNewYork Team