June 19, 2020

MLB Closes All Training Facilities in Florida & Arizona
Phillies Close Florida Camp After Eight People Test Positive For COVID-19


MLB has closed all spring training camps in Arizona and Florida, according to USA Today Sports, so they can be disinfected and cleaned. Players and staff will not be readmitted to the facilities unless they test negative for COVID-19.


Eight people in the Phillies organization have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 this week and the team has shut down its training facility in Clearwater, Florida, until further notice.

Five players and three staff members tested positive, with the first case being confirmed on Tuesday. More than 30 other team personnel (20 players, 12 staff) are waiting for test results. None of the eight people have been hospitalized.

Florida has had record-setting numbers of new cases this week and is one of 17 states in which hospitalizations for COVID-19 are increasing (Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Vermont). Deaths from COVID-19 are on an upward trend in 13 states and Washington, D.C.

In nearby Dunedin, the Blue Jays also closed their training camp after a player exhibited symptoms. According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, the player "is a pitcher on the 40-man roster who recently had spent time with players in the Phillies' minor leagues system ... He has been tested for COVID-19 and is awaiting results." Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins said the team is "being overly precautious with testing". Back in March, two minor leaguers with the Yankees tested positive for COVID-19 in Tampa. They have both recovered.

Also: The Astros had one player test positive for COVID-19 at the team's facility in West Palm Beach. The unidentified player had minor symptoms and is recovering. Two Angels players tested positive for COVID-19, although neither had been working out at Angel Stadium or the team's training camp in Tempe, Arizona. The Giants and Rangers announced they were shutting down their training facilities in Florida and Arizona.

The positive tests come at a time when a possible agreement concerning a 2020 season might be reached. The Union's proposal to MLB yesterday suggested a 70-game regular season. MLB's last offer was for 60 games.

Other professional sports teams in Florida have seen positive tests this week: Multiple players with the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) and the assistant coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL) have tested positive. Also, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews and a San Francisco 49ers player both tested positive.

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