Major League Baseball has informed teams of changes to its coronavirus protocols, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Wednesday night.
The league is now mandating the use of surgical masks instead of cloth masks during travel and is requiring every team to travel with a compliance officer whose job will be to ensure every player and staff member properly follows the league's protocol.
The changes are a direct response to the coronavirus outbreak that infected nearly half the Miami Marlins’ roster. The Marlins season is now temporarily on hold pending improved test results next week.
As of Thursday afternoon, 17 players and two Marlins staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. The Marlins games through Sunday have been postponed and the hope is the team will be able to resume at home on Tuesday against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Phillies have also been impacted by the Marlins outbreak. They were Miami’s opponent on opening weekend. Philadelphia’s second series against the New York Yankees was also postponed due to concerns stemming from the Marlins visit.
According to ESPN’s report, a memo outlining the amendments was distributed to all 30 teams on Tuesday. Worth noting, the league’s protocols still do not require players or staff to quarantine when they’re on the road. However, the memo did encourage members of the traveling party to stay in their hotel rooms and socially distance from one another when they’re not at the ballpark
ESPN’s report suggests that larger changes in MLB's protocol could be forthcoming now that the league has seen one of its worst possible scenarios play out. However, it’s suggested those changes will not impact testing.
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