Marlins shut down until next week after virus cases: MLB

Marlins shut down until next week after virus cases: MLB

The Miami Marlins have been shut down until next week following a mass outbreak of COVID-19 amongst players and staff
The Miami Marlins have been shut down until next week following a mass outbreak of COVID-19 amongst players and staff

LOS ANGELES - Major League Baseball shut down the Miami Marlins for the remainder of the week on Tuesday after four more members of the virus-stricken franchise tested positive for COVID-19.

A statement from Major League Baseball said all Marlins games scheduled through to Sunday had been postponed in order to allow the team to care for its personnel.

The decision came just hours after reports that four more Miami players had contracted COVID-19, taking the total number of Marlins players and coaches infected with the coronavirus to 17.

"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," MLB said in a statement.

In addition, the league said the remainder of this week's series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees had also been axed.

The Phillies played the Marlins last weekend but there have been no reports of positive cases among the Philadelphia franchise.

The Yankees will now play the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on Wednesday and Thursday in a revised schedule. The Orioles had been due to play in Miami on Monday and Tuesday before hosting the team on Wednesday and Thursday.

MLB meanwhile said the Marlins outbreak demonstrated the importance of following health and safety protocols.

"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," the league said.

"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."

On Monday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said league had anticipated the possibility of an outbreak when it was designing its safety protocols.

"I think most of the owners realize that we built protocols anticipating that we would have positive tests at some point during the season, that the protocols were built in order to allow us to continue to play through those positives," Manfred said.

"I think there was support for the notion that we believe that the protocols are adequate to keep our players safe."

Manfred did not specify whether a team being laid low by the coronavirus would jeopardise the entire season.

"I think that a team losing a number of players that rendered it completely non-competitive would be an issue that we would have to address and have to think about making a change," Manfred said.

"Whether that was shutting down a part of the season, the whole season, that depends on the circumstances."

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