The Philadelphia Phillies confirmed Friday that five players and three staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.
The Major League Baseball team added that it is closing its spring training facilities in Clearwater, Florida, “indefinitely” amid the outbreak.
“The Phillies are committed to the health and welfare of our players, coaches and staff as our highest priority, and as a result of these confirmed tests, all facilities in Clearwater have been closed indefinitely to all players, coaches and staff and will remain closed until medical authorities are confident that the virus is under control and our facilities are disinfected,” John Middleton, the team’s managing partner, said in a statement.
The team said the first confirmed case occurred this past Tuesday. In addition to the eight positive cases among players and staff members, an additional 32 are awaiting test results.
The MLB team declined to comment on the implications of the outbreak on its 2020 season, saying it’s too early to determine.
News of the outbreak comes as negotiations between the MLB and its Players Association ramp up in preparation for the sport’s return.
On Wednesday, ESPN reported that the MLB sent a proposal to the players for a 60-game season at full prorated pay. Under the proposal, the season would begin on July 19, according to ESPN.