Coronavirus outbreak hits Phillies camp in Clearwater; multiple players and staff infected

Coronavirus hits Phillies camp in Clearwater
The Phillies confirmed reports on Friday that multiple members of the organization training in Clearwater, Fla. have tested positive for coronavirus.

Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia was first to report on the outbreak.

Per a statement from the Phillies, the first confirmed case occurred this past Tuesday, June 16. In total, five players and three staff members have tested positive. Twelve staff members and 20 players living in the Clearwater area are in the process of being tested and are awaiting results.

“The Phillies are committed to the health and welfare of our players, coaches, and staff as our highest priority, and as a result of these confirmed tests, all facilities in Clearwater have been closed indefinitely to all players, coaches and staff and will remain closed until medical authorities are confident that the virus is under control and our facilities are disinfected," said Managing Partner John Middleton

The outbreak is the first to impact a Major League organization.

Cases have risen significantly in Flordia over the past two weeks. Players at the Spectrum Field facility were following strict CDC guidelines regarding cleanliness and social distancing, yet it appears to have not been enough to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Major League Baseball and the Players Association continue to negotiate a deal to get the 2020 season underway, though significant obstacles remain regarding the length of schedule and salary payments.

It is unclear how this outbreak may impact those negotiations.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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