Jays close Dunedin fa­cil­ity af­ter player be­comes ill

Calgary Herald - - SPORTS -

As Ma­jor League Base­ball works to be­gin a short­ened sea­son, five Philadel­phia Phillies play­ers and three staff mem­bers have tested positive for the novel coro­n­avirus, the club an­nounced on Fri­day.

The play­ers were train­ing at the team’s fa­cil­ity in Clear­wa­ter, Fla. Twelve staff mem­bers and 20 ma­jor league and mi­nor league play­ers liv­ing in the Clear­wa­ter area are await­ing re­sults of their tests.

The Toronto Blue Jays have shut down their spring train­ing fa­cil­ity in nearby Dunedin af­ter a player ex­hib­ited COVID-19 symp­toms, sources told ESPN.

Ac­cord­ing to ESPN colum­nist Jeff Pas­san, the player ex­hibit­ing the symp­toms is a pitcher on the 40-man ros­ter who re­cently had spent time with play­ers in the Phillies mi­nor leagues sys­tem.

He’s been tested for COVID-19 and is await­ing re­sults.

Mul­ti­ple play­ers work­ing out at the Blue Jays fa­cil­ity said they hadn’t yet been tested, Pas­san tweeted. If the player isn’t an iso­lated case, test­ing will ramp up.

“We are be­ing overly pre-cau­tious with test­ing,” Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins told ESPN.

Mean­while, TSN re­ported the Tampa Bay Light­ning had to close their train­ing fa­cil­i­ties be­cause mul­ti­ple play­ers and staffers tested positive. The NHL plans to be­gin train­ing camps July 10.

“The Phillies are com­mit­ted to the health and wel­fare of our play­ers, coaches and staff as our high­est pri­or­ity,” Phillies owner John Mid­dle­ton said, “and as a re­sult of these con­firmed tests, all fa­cil­i­ties in Clear­wa­ter have been closed in­def­i­nitely to all play­ers, coaches and staff, and will re­main closed un­til med­i­cal author­i­ties are con­fi­dent the virus is un­der con­trol and our fa­cil­i­ties are dis­in­fected.”

The club de­clined to com­ment on how this out­break could af­fect the Phillies’ 2020 sea­son. This is the first MLB team with a known out­break.

The coro­n­avirus forced MLB to sus­pend spring train­ing in March and post­pone open­ing day, which was sched­uled for March 26. MLB and the play­ers union are work­ing to set­tle dis­putes over com­pen­sat­ing play­ers for a short­ened sea­son played with­out fans in at­ten­dance.

The play­ers associatio­n on Thurs­day de­liv­ered to MLB a pro­posal for a sea­son with around 70 games.

Coro­n­avirus cases have spiked in Florida, where 15 MLB teams hold spring train­ing. Ma­jor League Soc­cer and the Na­tional Bas­ket­ball Associatio­n are plan­ning to re­sume play in July with games near Or­lando. The WNBA will play a 22-game sea­son in Braden­ton, Fla.

Florida had more than 3,800 cases on Fri­day, the state’s high­est sin­gle-day to­tal.

MLS will re­turn on July 8 with a leaguewide tour­na­ment held with­out spec­ta­tors at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Com­plex. The 26 clubs will play in group­stage matches fol­lowed by knock­out rounds. All teams will stay at a Dis­ney re­sort and will have no con­tact with the pub­lic.

Teams will be­gin ar­riv­ing in Florida on June 24.

The NBA’S board of gov­er­nors ap­proved a plan to re­sume the sea­son in July with 22 teams play­ing at the Dis­ney sports com­plex.

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