Miami Marlins Temporarily Suspend Season After Multiple Players, Staff Test Positive for COVID-19
According to reports, 15 players and two staff members were diagnosed with coronavirus last week
With the MLB season officially launching last week, one team now faces an uncertain future.
According to a press release, the MLB suspended the Miami Marlins' season through Sunday. The news comes after at least 15 players and two staff members were diagnosed with coronavirus last week, sources told ESPN. The team's home opener against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday had already been postponed due to the outbreak in the Marlins' locker room.
"Given the current circumstances, MLB believes that it is most prudent to allow the Marlins time to focus on providing care for their players and planning their baseball operations for a resumption early next week," the press release said.
The Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees series has also now been postponed out of an abundance of caution after the Marlins played in Pennsylvania over the weekend.
"The health and safety protocols were designed with a challenging circumstance like the one facing the Marlins in mind," the MLB said. "The response outlined in the joint MLB-MLBPA Operations Manual was triggered immediately upon learning of the cluster of positive cases, including contact tracing and the quarantining and testing of all of the identified close contacts. The Marlins’ personnel who tested positive remain in isolation and are receiving care."
Since last Friday, the MLB has conducted 6,400 coronavirus tests and says there have been "no new positives of on-field personnel" from any of the other teams.
Said the MLB: "The difficult circumstances of one Club reinforce the vital need to be diligent with the protocols in all ways, both on and off the field. We will continue to bolster our protocols and make any necessary adjustments. The realities of the virus still loom large, and we must operate with that in mind every day. We are confident that Clubs and players will act appropriately, for themselves and for others, and the data provides reason to believe that the protocols can work effectively."
After initial news of the outbreak on the team, Marlins CEO Derek Jeter issued a statement noting that the health of players and staff would continue to be the club's "primary focus."
“After a successful Spring 2.0, we have now experienced challenges once we went on the road and left Miami," Jeter said. "Postponing tonight’s home opener was the correct decision to ensure we take a collective pause and try to properly grasp the totality of this situation."
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The abbreviated 2020 baseball season kicked off last Thursday night with the New York Yankees at the Washington Nationals' field, as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, threw the ceremonial first pitch.
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