Officials from Major League Baseball have announced additional precautions regarding the coronavirus after MLB had previously sent a memo to all 30 MLB clubs' front offices, telling players to avoid taking balls and pens directly from fans for autographs as well as opting against handshakes during spring training. The newest precautions now include limiting access to media members who have visited high-risk areas. As currently defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, high-risk areas include China, Iran, Italy and South Korea.
"We are undertaking many precautions currently. For example, we are asking anyone - including media - who has visited a high-risk area, as defined by the CDC, within the last 14 days not to visit our facilities.
We are also discussing additional measures internally and with other Leagues. At this time, we have not made changes to our media access procedures, and we will advise if we determine to take such steps."
The National Hockey League reportedly recently took a similar, but more drastic move, and. Per multiple reports, formal press conferences will still be held.
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that can cause illnesses as minor as a cold, or as serious as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), according to the World Health Organization. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus can cause symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath. But while some patients only show mild symptoms and recover, others have developed life-threatening complications, such as pneumonia, CBS News reports.
CBS News has the latest updates about the virus, which has affected various sports globally and in the United States.
The coronavirus has killed more than 3,300 people worldwide and there have been more than 100,000 cases across the globe, according to CBS News. As of Saturday, public health officials determined that there were nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Florida, where half the MLB teams play spring training, and five confirmed cases in Arizona, where the other 15 teams hold camp.
So far, no spring training or regular season games have been affected. MLB, along with the other major sports leagues, will continue regularly consulting with the CDC and other health organizations about COVID-19.