The Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday announced the closure of their home field after two team staffers tested positive for COVID-19, days after the team played the coronavirus-stricken Miami Marlins.
“While no players tested positive for Covid-19, there were two staff members that did test positive. One is a member of the coaching staff and one is a member of the home clubhouse staff,” said a statement from the team. “All activity at Citizens Bank Park has been cancelled today and until further notice.”
Marlins games have been postponed through Sunday after a coronavirus outbreak among players forced the suspension of two baseball games on Monday.
On Monday, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said that four Marlins had tested positive for the virus over the weekend. At the time, he said the cases would not derail the 2020 season. More than a dozen members of the Marlins organization have now tested positive, reported NBC South Florida.
The Miami baseball team was scheduled to play its home opener Monday night against the Baltimore Orioles, but the game was postponed so the league could conduct additional coronavirus testing.
A game between the New York Yankees’ and Phillies was also postponed Monday out of an abundance of caution because the Marlins had completed a series in Philadelphia over the weekend and the Yankees would have used the same clubhouse as the Marlins, according to MLB.com.
“I don’t put this in the nightmare category,” Manfred told MLB Network earlier this week. “We built the protocols to allow us to continue to play. That’s why we have the expanded rosters. That’s why we have the pool of additional players. And we think we can keep people safe and continue to play.”
But the commissioner said he would consider a full or partial shutdown of the season if infections accelerated.