MLB spring training sites closing again due to coronavirus concerns

AP photo by Matt Rourke / The Philadelphia Phillies stretch before a home game against the Washington Nationals on April 6, 2017. Five players for the Phillies have tested positive for COVID-19 at the team's spring camp in Florida, prompting the club to indefinitely close the complex. The team also said that three staff members have tested positive.

Every team in Major League Baseball will shut its spring training camp due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, a move that came in the wake of the Philadelphia Phillies announcing Friday five players had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The closures come while MLB team owners and players try to negotiate a deal to begin the season, and the latest site shutdowns raise the possibility the virus outbreak could scuttle all attempts at starting up this year.

A person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press the spring complexes in Arizona and Florida will temporarily close because of recent events. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there wasn't an official statement.

The facilities will undergo a deep cleaning and disinfecting, and no one will be permitted back inside without a negative test for the virus.

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