KEY POINTS

  • Justin Turner returned to the field to celebrate his team's World Series victory despite being infected, prompting an official rebuke
  • Players are tested daily, and now both teams and their families will receive additional testing and contact tracing
  • The U.S. is facing a resurgent second wave of COVID-19 due to exactly this type of irresponsible behavior, with hospitals in Southern states reaching 100% capacity over the weekend

Major League Baseball on Wednesday announced that the commissioner’s office would launch an investigation into Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, who “chose to disregard the agreed-upon joint protocols and the instructions he was given regarding the safety and protection of others."

Turner had tested positive for COVID-19 in the seventh inning but later celebrated with his teammates after the Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

After being in insolation, Turner later emerged with his wife and posed for pictures with the Commissioner’s Trophy. He was seen hugging teammates and others within the organization and also took off his mask when posing for pictures.

Justin Turner Dodgers Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his wife Kourtney Pogue, hold the Commissioners Trophy after the teams 3-1 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Six to win the 2020 MLB World Series at Globe Life Field on October 27, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The league quickly put out a statement, calling the decision to have Turner on the field "wrong."

“While a desire to celebrate is understandable, Turner’s decision to leave isolation and enter the field was wrong and put everyone he came in contact with at risk. When MLB Security raised the matter of being on the field with Turner, he emphatically refused to comply," the statement read.

Both teams and their families will receive additional testing and contact tracing for those who test positive. Some of Turner’s teammates were sympathetic toward him. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported Turner and some Dodger teammates resisted security’s request for Turner to leave the field.

In recent days, there has been increased attention on slowing the spread of COVID-19. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told NBC News on Oct. 18 that "the next six to 12 weeks are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic.”

Read the full MLB statement here.