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Poloncarz: Visiting MLB teams won't be able to leave hotels

Athletes will not be allowed to leave their hotel rooms in Buffalo, except when the team gathers to eat within the hotel.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein say they've talked with several stakeholders with the Blue Jays and have come to an agreement on how the season will be handled.

Most notably, that visiting teams will not be able to leave their hotels except to be bused to Sahlen Field or the airport.

Furthermore, athletes will not be allowed to leave their hotel rooms, except when the team gathers to eat within the hotel.

Teams coming from states with significant COVID-19 transmission will also be subject to the New York State Department of Health's guidelines for sports teams coming from such states. 

Stakeholders in the call included representatives and leaders from Major League Baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays, Rich Products and the Buffalo Bisons.

"Based on our conversation and the protocols put in place, it is apparent to me MLB is taking extremely serious the safety of all, especially since the COVID-19 outbreak occurred with the Miami Marlins," Poloncarz said in a news release.

"They sincerely heard our concerns and agreed to every request we made, including adherence by all teams to my future issuance of an executive order regarding team travel and hotel stays to and from our region and working with the Health Department to ensure the safety of all.”

Earlier Thursday, Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo says his team’s series at Philadelphia scheduled for this weekend was postponed because of concerns about the coronavirus after two Phillies staffers tested positive.

It’s the latest in a series of scheduling changes as Major League Baseball attempts to play a 60-game season amid a pandemic that is surging in parts of the United States.

A person familiar with the situation tells the Associated Press that another player with the Miami Marlins has tested positive for the coronavirus. That brings the team’s outbreak total to 17 players.

The Marlins remain quarantined in Philadelphia.


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