While most professional sports move closer to the reboot, a number of cases of COVID-19 among athletes have been confirmed on Friday in everything, from baseball to hockey, golf.
Reports indicate that Auston Matthews, the star of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is part of it. The player of 22 years had been working out in Arizona with his teammate Frederik Andersen and players of the Coyotes of the NHL.
During a busy day of developments related to the COVID-19, the Toronto Blue Jays have closed their training center in Dunedin, Florida, after a player has been tested positive for novel coronavirus. A few hours earlier, the Philadelphia Phillies had closed their complex in Clearwater after five players and three other members of the staff were found to be positive.
Dunedin and Clearwater are separated by less than 10 kilometres and Florida reported Friday a record number of 3 822 new cases. Arizona is also among the States showing an increase, with a record of 3 246 new cases.
The Blue Jays have said that everyone in their camp had been tested. The club has stated that it followed the protocols established by their medical team and Major League Baseball.
On Thursday, at Tampa, in close proximity, the Lightning has closed its facilities after three players and other employees have also been tested positive.
The general manager Julien BriseBois said in a press release that players will self-isolate, and are asymptomatic, “with the exception of a few cases of low grade fever”.
BriseBois said that the facility would be closed until a safe environment exists for the re-opening.
The sudden closure occurred two weeks after the NHL players began to return for the voluntary training, skating in groups of six at a time. The league, which has suspended the game on march 12, due to the spread of the virus, hope to be able to resume the playoff at the end of next month or early August.
Friday, the disturbing news occurred while the federal government announced that it was willing to work with the NHL to help create a city hub of the post-season in Canada. The league said that it would prefer to resume with games played by 24 teams on two sites only.
Arrangements are made to enable players from american teams to cross the border without having to go into quarantine for 14 days. This eliminates a potential barrier to the offers made by Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver to act as host city.
The baseball players had started training as recently as they tried to conclude an agreement with the owners on the way to start the season in the middle of the pandemic, including the protocols of health. The parties hoped to start testing the players Tuesday, then begin a second round of spring training on June 26.
In the NHL, the Coyotes have announced last weekend that a staff member had tested positive for the infectious respiratory disease.
An american golfer, Nick Watney, withdrew Friday from the RBC Heritage in South Carolina prior to the second round after having been tested positive for COVID-19. Watney, who went in private to Hilton Head Island for the tournament, is the first player on the PGA Tour is known to be positive.
The PGA stated that Watney had reported that he had symptoms on Friday morning and had been removed from the event. He played in the first round Thursday in a group with fellow americans Vaughn Taylor and Luke List.
Two players from Major League Soccer have also been tested positive. One is a member of the Inter Miami and the other plays for Atlanta United. The teams are preparing for the beginning of July, 8 of the tournament, MLS is Back in the Orlando area.
Matthews has marked a high of 47 goals for the Maple Leafs in the regular season and finished third in the league in this department, only one behind David Pastrnak of the Boston and Alex Ovechkin of Washington.
Matthews would be the player’s most prominent hockey against the respiratory diseases and infectious and the second player is the most visible of all sports after Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL. The rusher All-Pro was diagnosed earlier in the week.
The Maple Leafs do not confirm if Matthews turns out to have COVID-19, although the NHL has confirmed Friday evening in a press release that 11 players have been tested positive since the clubs have opened their facilities on 8 June.
“According to the protocol of the national hockey League, [we] will not comment on the reports surrounding the tests for any of the players or staff of the club ” , the organisation said in a press release Friday evening. “The medical information of a person in this regard are private.
“The club will adhere to the policy of the NHL on the treatment of the disclosure of the results of positive tests, to the extent that the league will regularly provide updates with aggregated totals of the number of tests performed and number of positive tests reported without disclosing neither the identity of the clubs or players involved. ”