Stingers player tests positive for COVID-19

A Willmar Stingers player has tested positive for coronavirus, according to the team's owners. The Minnesota native player will undergo a second test as part of a medical protocol process. All Stinger players, coaches and staff are being screened daily.

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X's are marked off throughout the grandstand at Bill Taunton Stadium as the Willmar Stingers implement social distancing rules prior to the start of the 2020 season. Willmar will host St. Cloud at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — The Willmar Stingers have a player who tested positive for coronavirus.

Stingers co-owners Ryan Voz and Marc Jerzak informed the team prior to practice Tuesday at Bill Taunton Stadium, announcing that a player native to Minnesota tested positive for COVID-19 and has been removed from team activities.

Voz and Jerzak said that another test for the player is being scheduled, which is team protocol with any positive test. The player, according to Voz and Jerzak, was asymptomatic.

“If there’s another positive, he will not be on the team for the rest of the season,” Voz said.

As of Tuesday night, no other Willmar player or coach has tested positive.


Players, coaches and Stingers staff are being screened daily. Prior to the start of Tuesday’s practice, Voz was taking temperatures of players and coaches with a no-touch thermometer before they hit the field for fielding and batting drills.

Opposing teams and umpires will also be screened on game days, with anyone showing symptoms not being allowed in the stadium.

For on-field personnel, the Stingers outlined seven items in hopes of limiting the spread of coronavirus in their stadium readiness plan with city and state officials earlier this month:

  • Increased cleanliness in the home and away dugouts.

  • Additional restrictions on dugout access. Media will be prohibited. Front office access will be limited as much as possible.

  • Buffet-style food service will be discontinued and all player meals will be served individually.

  • Limitation on “spit” items (seeds, gum, peanuts, etc.).

  • All players (home and away teams) and umpires screened upon arrival to the ballpark.

  • All players and coaches will be recommended to stay six feet apart while in the dugout and bullpens. Added seating will be available for both teams to abide by social distance guidelines.

  • Hand sanitizer will be readily available in each dugout.

Willmar is scheduled to open the season at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday at Taunton Stadium against the St. Cloud Rox in Northwoods League play.

Joe Brown is a sports reporter for the West Central Tribune.

He can be reached via email at: or his office number: 320-214-4332.
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