I’m sure that some of you, maybe even most of you are already missing sports. I’m not quite there yet – but I’m sure that it will hit me soon enough. But it seems like it’s going to be quite a while before we get to see live sports here in America. Last night the Center for Disease Control updated their recommendations for mass gatherings or large community events. Among those recommendations was to cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States for the next 8 weeks. Let’s also be sure to note that this is the interim guidance – which means that things can change if and when more/new/better data comes about. Here’s the entire statement:
Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.
Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.
Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing. When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.
This recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businessesThis recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus. This recommendation is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials.
While we still haven’t seen an update from Major League Baseball as far as the whole “two week delay” to the start of the regular season, we’ve known for a few days now that there’s no way that’s happening. On Saturday it was being reported by Scott Miller of Bleacher Report and MLB Network Radio that several sources swore “the season won’t begin until June“. That last one sounds like it’s about to be the earliest target date to start the season if the recommendations proposed by the CDC are adhered to.
Eight weeks from Sunday would be mid-May before sporting events with 50 people would be allowed. It’s tough to imagine spring training would be allowed while adhering to that rule. So if mid-May is the starting point for spring training, or whatever we would call that, even a two week “ramp up” to get ready to start the regular season would be right around the start of June.
Now, whether or not that’s likely to happen is a much tougher question. As has been noted in several other of our articles here as it relates to all of this – we don’t know how this is going to play out. We have hopes for how it could play out, and it seems that every day we’re getting tighter restrictions put in place with the hopes to keep things from overwhelming out medical infrastructure and having it turn into a true disaster. With that said, at least here in Ohio, the director of the Ohio Department of Health Dr. Amy Acton said that she doesn’t expect this to peak until late-April or mid-May. If that is the case, things could be pushed even further into the summer.
Right now it’s a big wait-and-see game for all of us.