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Yankees minor-leaguer tests positive for coronavirus

After baseball shuttered spring training, the first known case of coronavirus is with a team that trains in Tampa.
Days after the first coronavirus cases were announced in the state of Florida , baseball fans sit in the stands to watch the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox major-league spring training game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.  The Yankees say the minor-leaguer who has coronavirus was never at the main stadium. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
Days after the first coronavirus cases were announced in the state of Florida , baseball fans sit in the stands to watch the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox major-league spring training game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. The Yankees say the minor-leaguer who has coronavirus was never at the main stadium. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]

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TAMPA — A New York Yankees minor-league player has tested positive for coronavirus.

The Yankees train in Tampa, with their minor-league camp held on Himes Avenue two blocks south of Raymond James Stadium. Major-league camp is held at Steinbrenner Field and its accompanying fields off Dale Mabry Highway.'

The unidentified player would be the first known case of coronavirus in professional baseball. Three NBA players have tested positive in the past week, prompting nearly every professional sports league to suspend games and postpone their seasons.

Yankees minor-leaguers have been told to remain in quarantine for the next two weeks, according to an MLB Network report. Many minor-leaguers stay in a team hotel during spring training.

According to the Associated Press, the Yankees said the player had spent his entire time at the minor-league complex. This checks out.

A player in minor-league camp wouldn’t come into contact with as many people as in big-league camp, especially in terms of fans. The minor-league games are held on back fields and draw mainly team personnel, scouts and family members. Minor-league players, however, are sometimes summoned to play in major-league spring training games.

To prevent mass gatherings that games would create, Major League Baseball canceled the remainder of spring training games and has postponed the start of the season at least two weeks, though it seems more likely that the season wouldn’t start until the beginning of May at the earliest. Before that, the league advised players against taking items from fans, like pens and balls to sign autographs, and closed clubhouse access to media and non-essential personnel.

In a memo sent out Sunday, Major League Baseball told teams to send all players not listed on teams’ 40-man rosters — which would include a majority of minor-league players — to their homes and send non-essential personnel to the team’s home city. The league also mandated for spring training facilities to remain open for major-league players to work out and receive treatment.

Last week, Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez was diagnosed with influenza A after complaining of a fever.

Once spring training games were initially canceled, players were given the option of remaining in their spring training city, going to their major-league city or going to their home town. The Yankees’ major-league club voted as a team to remain in Tampa and conduct informal workouts together.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.

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Tampa Bay Times coronavirus guide

Q&A: The latest and all your questions answered.

EVENT CANCELLATIONS: Get the latest updates on events planned in the Tampa Bay area in the coming weeks.

PROTECT YOURSELF: Household cleaners can kill the virus on most surfaces, including your phone screen.

BE PREPARED: Guidelines for essentials to keep in your home should you have to stay inside.

STOCK UP YOUR PANTRY: Foods that should always be in your kitchen, for emergencies and everyday life.

FACE MASKS: They offer some protection, but studies debate their effectiveness.

WORKPLACE RISK: A list of five things employers could be doing to help curb the spread of the disease.

READER BEWARE: Look out for bad information as false claims are spreading online.

OTHER CORONAVIRUS WEBSITES:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Florida Department of Health

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