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Positive COVID-19 Tests Threaten Sports Leagues

COVID-19 is winning.  

Friday was not a good day in the sports world as numerous athletes tested positive for COVID-19. The National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning training facility was closed. Major League Baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies Clearwater, Florida and the Toronto Blue Jays Dunedin, Florida spring training facilities were also shuttered after players from those teams tested positive for COVID-19. In Arizona, the San Francisco Giants’ Scottsdale facility was closed as well after a positive test. There was a problem at the Houston Astros West Palm Beach, Florida base. All 30 MLB training facilities are now shut and will be disinfected. College sports was not spared either as a number of players and people connected with 16 programs have the virus. There were 11 NHL players who tested positive for COVID-19 and that is a problem as the NHL is hoping to resume the season with the start of training camp in two hub cities on July 10.  A player with David Beckham’s Inter Miami Major League Soccer team and one National Women’s Soccer League player tested positive for COVID-19. MLS players are sequestered in a bubble near Orlando, Florida.

The PGA announced that Nick Watney tested positive for COVID-19. The positive tests are a setback but no one should be surprised. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said this week that the NFL might not be able to get its season going. “Unless players are essentially in a bubble, insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day, it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall. If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year.” The NFL disagrees but there are obstacles.

(Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times via AP)/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
Evan Weiner :