Major League Baseball sets up coronavirus task force

Blake Snell

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) signs autographs for fans during spring training baseball camp Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, in Port Charlotte, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

TAMPA (WFLA) – Major League Baseball has established an internal task force to deal with coronavirus and its potential impact on the 2020 season.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Major League Baseball does not presently plan to cancel or postpone spring training or regular-season games due to the coronavirus outbreak

The task force made the following recommendations to clubs:

  • Players avoid taking balls and pens directly from fans to sign autographs — a suggestion that will be fleshed out in training materials the league intends to send to teams — and opt against handshakes.
  • Teams open lines of communication with the local public-health authority.
  • Front offices consult a local infectious-disease specialist who can serve as a conduit to health officials.
  • Medical personnel ensure all players have received the 2019-20 flu vaccine and are up to date on other vaccinations.

The Tampa Bay Rays have issued their response to the possible threat of the coronavirus in the Tampa Bay area.

“The health and safety of our staff, players, and fans is of the utmost importance to us. We are continuing to closely monitor the situation and are in constant communication with our local authorities as well as Major League Baseball. As we have additional information to share, we will do so.”

There is nothing in the memo about the possibility of postponing games or playing games without fans as overseas leagues have done.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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