MLB training camps to close temporarily for cleaning after Jays, Phillies scares

Major League Baseball made the move to shut down its training facilities in Florida and Arizona on Friday, according to multiple reports.

Philadelphia site had 8 positive virus tests, Toronto camp had 1 player with symptoms

The entrance to TD Ballpark, the Toronto Blue Jays spring training field in Dunedin, Fla. The Blue Jays have closed training facilities in Florida indefinitely on Friday after an unnamed player displayed symptoms consistent with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. (Steve Nesius/The Canadian Press)

Major League Baseball made the move to shut down its training facilities in Florida and Arizona on Friday, according to multiple reports.

The decision comes after the Toronto Blue Jays shut down their spring training complex after a player presented symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

All facilities will undergo deep cleaning and disinfecting and be closed temporarily. Upon their return, a negative test will be required for re-entry.

The Jays were the second big league team to close their Florida camp because of the coronavirus.

The Blue Jays' announcement came hours after the Philadelphia Phillies shuttered their site after five players and three staff members tested positive for the virus. The Phillies' camp in Clearwater is about five miles from Toronto's complex.

The Blue Jays said personnel at their camp have undergone testing. The club said it was following protocols established by its medical team and Major League Baseball.

The Blue Jays organization said its camp has closed indefinitely.

MLB players and owners are trying to reach a deal to start the season amid the pandemic, including health protocols. Some players had been recently been working out at spring training sites while practicing social distancing.

The sides had hoped to have players begin testing Tuesday and then begin a second round of spring training on June 26. Most teams would likely hold those workouts at their home ballparks, rather than at their spring camps in Florida and Arizona.

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The Phillies said in a statement that is it "too early to know" what effect the outbreak will have on the 2020 season.

"The Phillies are committed to the health and welfare of our players, coaches and staff as our highest priority," managing partner John Middleton said in statement.

"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."

The Phillies said the first confirmed case occurred Tuesday. 

The San Francisco Giants' facility in Scottsdale, Ariz., was shut after one person who had been to the site and one family member exhibited symptoms Thursday.

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