CHICAGO (CBS) — The Washington Nationals still haven’t started their season because of a COVID-19 outbreak, and there are also 20-plus coronavirus cases for the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks – including the dangerous P.1 variant first found in Brazil.

Meanwhile, both Chicago Major League Baseball teams are offering vaccines to their players.

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The Cubs started when arriving in Chicago — and the Sox will follow suit this week.

Major League Baseball has a goal of vaccinating 85 percent of the league. Players won’t be required to get the vaccine, but teams with 85 percent vaccination will be rewarded with some eased health and safety protocols.

“Some guys have been vaccinated. I think the situation that we have now is that some guys will be getting vaccinated hopefully this week. I’m certainly encouraging guys to do it, and I think kind of as I said earlier, like once guys are fully vaccinated, that takes away a lot of the close-contact situations that we have now, and it’s obviously, in my opinion, it’s the right thing to do,” said Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer. “So I understand that we can’t mandate guys do it. I understand it’s a personal choice. It’s certainly something that I will be recommending guys do.”

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Cubs Manager David Ross has now received the COVID vaccine himself.

“I have been vaccinated. I got vaccinated in Arizona, and you know, I have encouraged the guys to seek out all the information and make the decision for themselves,” Ross said. “I think it’s something that we’re trying to get as many guys vaccinated as we possibly can, but at the end of the day, it’s their choice and you know, I’ve kind of left it up to them. But I just want them to be informed.”

The White Sox started their season on the road on the West Coast, but will be getting shots when they get home.

“I know that’s going to be done. We’ll have a chance when we go home to administer some vaccines, and I think guys will have seven days to consider,” said White Sox Manager Tony La Russa. “There is an advantage if 85 percent of the guys will do it.”

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The Cubs and White Sox did a great job last season following safety protocols. But we’ve seen that’s not always enough.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff