After COVID-19 outbreaks on both the Marlins and the Cardinals, Major League Baseball has changed its protocols for dealing with coronavirus.
The goal is to prevent any further outbreaks and continue on the path for a 60-game season.
“We recognize that these changes place additional burdens and restrictions on players and staff,’’ according to a copy of the memo obtained by USA TODAY Sports distributed to all MLB teams. “But if we desire to play, they are necessary to limit infections and, if someone does test positive, to keep the virus from spreading.”
According to the story published by Bob Nightengale, the league has taken some very serious measures in order to keep the spread of COVID-19 contained.
If a player or member of the organization fails to follow the new protocols, there will be severe consequences.
“Any covered individuals — whether players or club staff — who are found to have repeatedly or flagrantly violated the protocols, including refusing to wear a face covering when required and reminded to do so,’’ the memo reads, “risks being prohibited from further participation in the 2020 season and postseason (in the case of players, subject to the just cause provisions in the Basic Agreement). The Commissioner’s Office will send written warnings prior to any such action being taken.’’
According to Nightengale, new protocols must include wearing face coverings in the dugout and clubhouse, with the exception of players on the field. Teams are now forced to reduce the traveling party to those who are absolutely essential to playing the games. Meetings are now strictly prohibited in hotel rooms, and each team must have a private large room at a hotel designed for eating meals and convening during meetings.
The moves came a week after the league was seemingly on the ropes after the Marlins and Cardinals had a combined 33 members of their organizations tested positive for COVID-19.
The Marlins’ outbreak forced the Orioles-Marlins series to be postponed a week, and later to be fully played at Camden Yards with the Orioles operating as the road team for two games of the series.
“Everyone must be accountable for their own conduct because the careless or reckless actions of a few can impact the health and well-being of everyone,’’ the memo read.
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