Report: MLB, MLBPA adopt sweeping changes to COVID-19 protocols

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Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have agreed to several changes to the league's COVID-19 operations manual, according to Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal.

The following protocols will take effect Thursday and remain in place for the rest of the season:

  • Players and staff must wear face coverings over their nose and mouth at all times anywhere inside a ballpark - including the dugout and bullpen - except for players who are on the field.
  • Home teams are required to provide outdoor, covered spaces for visiting teams.
  • Players and staff must wear masks at all times while inside hotels except when alone in their rooms.
  • Traveling parties must be limited to essential personnel.
  • Players and staff must notify their club compliance officer any time they leave the hotel while on the road.
  • Players and staff are prohibited from visiting bars, lounges, restaurants, and malls.

Anyone found to be in violation of these new protocols may face significant punishments including a potential ban for the remainder of the season, Diamond notes.

The league acknowledged in a memo the sweeping nature of the changes:

MLB has already faced two COVID-19 outbreaks over the first few weeks of the 2020 season. More than 20 people within the Miami Marlins organization tested positive, as did 13 St. Louis Cardinals players and staff members.

The outbreaks forced the Marlins and Cardinals to suspend their respective schedules, creating a ripple effect across baseball that forced several other teams to postpone games.

Report: MLB, MLBPA adopt sweeping changes to COVID-19 protocols
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