Blue Jay, Phillies and the Tampa Bay Lightning stop at Florida camps


The Toronto Blue Jays stopped spring training from the complex Friday after a player exhibited symptoms consistent with COVID-19, the second league team to close their camp in Florida due to 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 at Clearwater is approximately five miles from Toronto and its complexes.

The Tampa Bay NHL Lightning also closed their facilities after the team’s five employees tested positive for COVID-19. It was not clear how many Lightning players tested positive.

The person spoke to The AP on Friday on the condition of anonymity because the NHL and the team are not to announce the closure. The NHL released a statement on Friday, saying: more than 200 players have been tested and 11 have tested positive. No names of players who tested positive will be released.

“All of the players who tested positive have been withdrawn and are following the CDC and Health in Canada protocols. The NHL will provide a weekly update on the number of tests administered to players and the results of these tests. The league will not provide information on the identity of the players or their clubs, “the statement read.

According to a Postmedia report, the Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews is among those who tested positive for COVID-19. The 22-year-old forward is apparently quarantined in his Arizona home.

Citing two unnamed NHL sources, the report said that goaltender Frederik Anderson, who had been spending time with Matthews tested negative for the virus.

The Maple Leafs and Matthews have yet to comment on the report.

The Toronto Blue Jays, staff at their camp said, have been tested. The club said it was following protocols established by its medical team and the Major League Baseball.

Philidelphia and Toronto have declared that their camps have been closed indefinitely.

MLB players and owners are trying to reach an agreement early in the season, in the middle of the pandemic, including health protocols. Some players have recently been trained in spring training sites while practicing social distance.

The parties have expressed the hope that players will begin testing on Tuesday, and the start of a second spring training cycle on June 26. Most teams would likely hold these workouts at their home stadiums, rather than at their spring camps in Florida and Arizona.

The Tampa Bay NHL Lightning also shut down their facilities on Thursday after five team employees tested positive for the new coronavirus, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

It was not clear how many Lightning players tested positive.

The closure is accompanied by one to two weeks after players have been allowed to return to their respective equipment to take part in volunteer on and office training sessions. Players were allowed to skate in groups of up to six at a time.

On Thursday, it was reported that a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ supervisory staff had tested positive for the virus, and two from the assistant team were quarantined.

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in Florida, with the state posting a record number of cases for the third consecutive day.


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