PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Health Department says there is no risk to the community due to the Miami Marlins coronavirus outbreak. It’s unknown when or where the Marlins were infected, but Miami is a coronavirus hotspot.
Baseball players, like other sports teams, are often in close personal contact — think about the locker room and traveling, for example.
COVID-19 is known to spread because people often don’t have symptoms. That’s why MLB is mandating daily testing.
The Marlins’ victory celebration over the Phillies Sunday came while COVID-19 was apparently spreading through the team.
“I’m not surprised,” Dr. John Zurlo said. “It remains very dangerous, it remains very infectious.”
Zurlo, the head of infectious disease at Jefferson, says COVID-19 can easily spread in a close environment
“On a bus trip, in a communal meal, in a clubhouse,” Zurlo said. “I think in any kind of team sport, as hard as they try, it’s difficult to keep these players apart from each other.”
The Philadelphia Health Department is now working with both teams and in a statement said: “We support the decision by the Marlins to shelter in Philadelphia in response to the positive tests. Members of the Marlins organization who have tested positive are in isolation in the team hotel, which is taking all of the recommended precautions to protect staff, including no-touch food delivery … The risk from the MLB situation to Philadelphians is extremely low.”
“As a club I think we do a great job of social distancing, wearing our masks, doing all the things the right way to hopefully not contract that,” Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper said.
During Sunday’s game, a few players and staff on each team wore masks, but not always.
“I think the risk is probably low that opposing players would infect each other,” Zurlo said.
Brief outside encounters are usually not risky. Zurlo thinks the bigger danger could be to the Phillies’ staff who were in the visitors’ area with the Marlins.
People traveling from Florida into Pennsylvania are supposed to self-quarantine for two weeks.
When asked about how that applies to the Marlins and baseball teams, the Philadelphia Health Department said it’s a recommendation, not a restriction.