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.