New MLB safety memo proposal includes no hugging or spitting

As Major League Baseball continues to work to find potential ways to play the 2020 season in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a radical new safety proposal would do away with several aspects of the game that fans have been used to for their entire lives.

High fives, fist bumps and hugs would be out of the picture, as well as spitting and chewing sunflower seeds.

Additionally, players and team personnel not participating in the game would be in the stands and separated by six feet. Any baseball touched by multiple players would be thrown away, while players wouldn’t be allowed to approach the baserunners or umpires. Also, all players would be subject to multiple temperature screenings.

Players would be encouraged to not shower at the stadiums, and would also be prohibited from using taxis while on the road.

Take a look at the specific language in the proposal, via The Athletic:

• Regular testing for all players, managers, coaches and umpires, plus a limited number of essential staff members who come into close proximity with players.
• MLB will monitor developments in testing and attempt to use the least invasive and fastest methods commercially available without adversely impacting public health needs.
• The vast majority of tests will be run on saliva collections, though oral or nasal swabs might be used at times. Blood samples will be taken less frequently for antibody testing.
• All players must undergo “intake screening” upon arriving at spring training. The screening will take place at multiple locations and at staggered times. It will consist of a temperature check with a contactless thermometer and body fluid and blood samples.
• Individuals who are tested must self-quarantine at his or her spring-training residence until the results of the testing are reported, likely within 24 to 48 hours. Any individual who tests positive is instructed to self-quarantine and gets treated accordingly.
• Asymptomatic individuals will undergo temperature checks and symptom screens at least twice daily. All individuals will undergo testing multiple times per week, with results taking approximately 24 hours to report.
• An individual with a temperature above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, other symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or in close contact with a confirmed case is subject to immediate rapid diagnostic test at a location close to the club facility.
• Each club must maintain a dedicated testing area in its spring training site and MLB ballpark, as well as a dedicated isolation area where an individual who develops symptoms or learns of a positive result can isolate pending relocation to home or medical facility.
• Free diagnostic and antibody testing is available to individuals who live in the same household and health care workers or other first responders in the clubs’ home cities as a public service.
• Each individual will conduct daily home screenings that include a personal temperature check each morning. Clubs will provide thermometers.
• Before entering a club facility, individuals will get temperatures checked and complete a short symptom and exposure questionnaire.
• Any individual who reports COVID-19 symptoms or a temperature above 100 during a home screening will not be permitted to enter a club facility and instead must immediately self-isolate and be directed to a team physician.
• Each club must develop procedures for isolating, transporting, testing and treating individuals who display potential symptoms.
• Clubs must take the following steps to minimize potential transmission:
Identify all players and other employees who have had close contact and closely monitor them.
Team physician may determine some or all of those who should get tested.
Immediate cleaning and disinfecting of all club-controlled areas.
Reinforce the importance of hygiene.
• Individuals who test positive must self-isolate, with daily communication and remote care from the club medical staff, including follow-up testing.
• The club, in coordination with local health officials, must conduct contact tracing, clean and disinfect locations where the individual was and confidentially notify public health authorities.
• Additional precautions and accommodations will be taken for individuals identified by club as “high-risk.”

Quotes via Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic Link – –

Written by Michael Whitaker

Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.

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