The Cincinnati Reds have released a statement about spring training, Opening Day, and the Opening Day parade as it relates to the coronavirus:

The Reds are monitoring this evolving situation. We are in daily contact with Major League Baseball, which is working closely with the CDC, other national public health organizations and government agencies. Additionally, we are working with our local health agencies and officials in Ohio and Arizona to ensure the safety and well-being of our fans, players and staff.

We are enforcing Major League Baseball’s policy restricting Clubhouse access to non-essential personnel. And, in conjunction with this protective measure, we are asking our players to refrain from traditional fan interactions such as handshakes, autographs and other personal contact for the balance of spring training. It is still to be determined if we will extend these policies into the regular season.

In a press conference today, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recommended the cancellation of parades and outdoor gatherings taking place around outdoor sporting events in Ohio. We appreciate the dialogue we have had with the Governor’s office and expect to stay in close contact with him and his staff. At this time, the Reds and Neil Luken, Findlay Market Parade chairperson, are not cancelling any events associate with Opening Day. We will continue to evaluate the situation as Opening Day approaches.

We thank our fans for joining our players and staff in adhering to safe hygiene practices and appreciate their cooperation.

That’s the end of the release from the Cincinnati Reds.

Michael Rosenberg of Sports Illustrated published a column this afternoon titled “Coronavirus is a serious threat, keeping fans out of arenas should be obvious”.

Within that article he quotes former CDC director Tom Friedon, who recommended this:

Cancel large gatherings, with the exception of geographic regions and populations not experiencing community transmission. Making that hard decision now could mean the difference between thousands and tens of thousands of infections in a community. If mass meetings do occur, older and medically vulnerable people should not attend.

With Ohio just now beginning to have tests, it’s quite unknown how things are working in the greater Cincinnati area as far as transmission goes. As the Reds statement notes, they will remain in touch with Major League Baseball, the CDC, as well as the Governor’s office and things could change with new information. Stay tuned, things could change, as they have been all over the sports landscape in the last week.

27 Responses

  1. Doug Gray

    I think it’s insanely stupid to hold the parade. Believe that.

    I’m not cranking any panic up. I’m simply paying attention to what the entire world is doing. There are over 100,000,000 worldwide on government mandated quarantine over this. In this country there are events being cancelled left and right at the advice of medical professionals. Government officials are recommending to not have large gatherings of people. The state of Ohio’s governor said as much. The Reds said they listened and decided that they weren’t going to follow the advice. Sounds stupid to me.

    • Optimist

      Cancel the parade. As for the opener, only possibility may be to cut the crowd by 75%, and use it as an excuse for mass testing/monitoring/taking temperatures. Would need to add lessons in social distancing – 6 feet spread in lines. Make it a mass medical control exam and it might be useful.

      Otherwise, an empty stadium but pipe in virtual crowd noise for the players and TV/radio audience.

    • Ghettotrout1

      Doug you are the biggest hater of pretty much anything that you don’t agree with and come in hot on everyone. this virus has been over hyped from the beginning if your worried about getting a virus don’t cancel events just use your free will and don’t show up simple as that and as for mocking the reds your honestly kind of a joke anyway you mock everyone on Twitter and all your websites if their opinions don’t align with yours. Sorry just had to hit ya with some truth bub.

      • Doug Gray

        Yeah – I definitely shouldn’t listen to the epidemiologist on this one who are basically screaming that we all need to stop having large public gatherings based on literally every historical outbreak ever known. Sorry, just had to hit ya with some truth bub.

    • Ghettotrout1

      Doug you should take a pole to see if people think your comments are snarky and mean I’d honestly like to see the responses I mean I really don’t think you’ll change your tone but everyone I talk to who reads your sites thinks the same you act like everyone who doesn’t agree is a moron pretty simple. I’d venture to say you wouldn’t respond to people in person like you do on Twitter

      • Doug Gray

        You and all of the people you talk to are more than welcome to not read anything I write. You do know that, right?

    • Cubano

      Are you allowed to tell someone to “take a pole” on this website? Seems rude

  2. Alex Reds

    To be honest, the whole world should quarantine at once and this could be almost all gone in 2-3 weeks and many thousands of lives would be saved.

    The Reds should cancel.
    How many people do you think are on planes or buses coming from other locations to the parade, or let alone Opening Day?

    Unfortunately, this kind of event is what gets it started and makes it spread. Just like the influenza in Philly in 1918. It only takes one person to have it and they didn’t know they have it or don’t have symptoms – and then it is widespread. Have you seen what is happening in Italy? We are no more prepared than they are. We’re just a couple weeks later than when they had 500 cases. Restrictions need to be put in place right away or it is too late and everything will be shut down meanwhile people will due who certainly didn’t need to.

    The Parade should definitely be cancelled. You cannot track who met with whom and everyone is in tight quarters and moving.
    The game itself outdoors with everyone in known seats is safer.
    Waiting lines could be eliminated.

    This could cause our entire city or the whole tristate to shutdown after the event if just several people have it, because you no longer can track who met with whom and have it reasonably under control.

    Every life is worth saving.

  3. centerfield

    The Reds need to pivot and announce they are putting the parade off to a future date. If things subside during the summer, schedule the parade then. Why would you take the risk of infecting thousands of people? The virus can be very serious for anyone over 14, not just seniors. I think Red’s fans will forgive ownership for doing the right thing. Take care of your fans.

    • Frostgiant80

      I agree. The problem for people saying that if people don’t want to go to “stay home” is when Bob goes to the game/event and gets the virus he then goes and visits grandma and gives her a kiss on the cheek. Grandma did stay home but now is going to get the virus because other people didn’t.

  4. Ghettotrout1

    I don’t get why the team should cancel an event in which those who are worried could simply stay home. I could understand if the death percentages were like fifty fifty but more people will die in car crashes per day in the USA than from this virus should we all just walk everywhere.

    • ShakingMyHead

      Wow, your ignorance really shows in your comments. So if you are not “worried” about the virus and decide to attend, it’s ok to infect other people? Do you really think the spread of viruses has anything to do with whether someone is “worried” or not?

      The whole point is that disease spreads even more rapidly when there are crowds. A spreading disease means more even more lives are lost. I don’t know why that is such a hard concept to understand.

      You are also failing to grasp how serious this thing actually is. If you are able to, you should read about the 1918 flu pandemic. You should also read up, again if you are capable, on the science around the spread of disease, and COVID-19 specifically. An understanding how this thing is evolving coupled with an important history lesson hopefully will help you not sound so ridiculously ignorant.

      • Ghettotrout1

        I really just don’t care about this flu pretty simple you can use the term ignorant if you feel the need and that’s fine but I can promise you there are more people like me that think this flu is not a dig deal than people who think we should cancel every public event or gathering.

      • Cubano

        In your case, ignorant is a great word because you’re choosing to ignore the facts in order to prop up your totally absurd opinion that it somehow violates your inalienable rights to take precautionary measures to keep this bug from recirculating forever.

  5. CFD3000

    As much as I hate to say it, I’m in agreement with those who think the parade should be cancelled, or at least postponed. It’s my understanding that a person can have COVID-19, and be able to transmit it to others, before symptoms start. So simply saying “stay home if you’re elderly or otherwise immune compromised, and of course stay home if you are sick / showing symptoms” isn’t enough to prevent spreading. And given that the mortality rate is somewhere in the neighborhood of 3%, that means in a GABP full of fans, if everyone contracted this virus more than 1000 would die. I think there’s no common sense argument for encouraging masses of people to congregate. Even for our beloved Reds. How about a victory Findlay Market Parade when the Reds clinch a playoff spot?

  6. RedNat

    I predict the season will be moved back a few weeks, maybe to the middle of april . do we really want our players out in 35 degree weather with this virus floating around? they would be sitting ducks.

    let the weather warm up a bit and let this virus pass over and then Play ball!

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Not a bad idea , but there would have to be arrangements made to have the playoffs and World Series in domed neutral sites in November/December.

  7. Josh Mohr

    In no way should the parade or OD be cancelled. Its just spreading fear and panic.

    • CP

      I don’t understand why it would be spreading “fear and panic” to cancel a parade.

      That said, while it is never a great idea to panic, fear is a natural and appropriate response here.

    • centerfield

      There should be fear, but not panic. Countries who have been aggressive at the first sign of the virus have a much lower infection rate than those who just stick their head in the sand. This is just common sense, which sadly seems to be lacking in some quarters.

  8. Doug Gray

    It *felt* that way, but I’ll note that there seemed to be a slight bit of hesitation with regards to outdoor events. I still think it’s going to come down that they won’t allow outdoor large gatherings, either – but unlike indoor events where it was very clear they weren’t happening (with fans/attendees), it wasn’t as clear for outdoor ones.

    That said, Mayor of Cincinnati John Cranley also had a presser today and when specifically asked about the parade, he said he’ll see if that’s included with the Governors order – but also said he’s asking anyone with an “event” to cancel it, but for now he’s not ordering it. But that could change as new information is coming in by the hour.

  9. Tom Mitsoff

    I’m not a doctor, politician or bureaucrat, but if it takes limiting large crowds locally, nationally and worldwide to keep this thing from completely exploding, then that’s what should be done. It’s going to hurt/inconvenience everyone in some way. The death rate per known case is much higher than the flu, and it’s clear that older people and people with underlying health issues are at considerably higher risk than the rest of the population. Gov. DeWine is merely following the lead of state and national health officials, as are other countries worldwide.

  10. Jo

    Yes please cancel all of it and we can watch the game from home. My husband and son are planning to come and I don’t want them back in the house if they do. I fall into a risk population so since they can’t respect me enough to skip it, it would be nice if the Reds would listen to the governor, CDC, WHO, and everyone else who is trying to be responsible to the population as a whole, so that we don’t have to pay for the reckless.

    • Jo

      Thank you for your support. I hope they do the right thing for the many people at risk, whether they choose to realize this or not, by going and those of us waiting at home.

  11. Jo

    I also failed to mention that anyone who isn’t worried about this and willing to do anything possible to prevent the spread should be required to watch a respiratory death. It’s the most horrendous death imaginable. My mother died very recently like this. She was fully alert and aware of what was happening. I’ll forever be scarred from the look of terror in her eyes and her pleading for help, shaking her head no because she thought we didn’t understand she wasn’t ok. All we could do was try to comfort her as she drowned in her own fluids. That is what this disease is capable of and I wish it on no one.