How US major league sports officials are preparing for coronavirus curveballs

How US major league sports officials are preparing for coronavirus curveballs

Major US sports leagues are creating coronavirus committees and consulting with medical experts as they closely monitor the spread of the deadly disease, officials told The Post on Friday.

Basketball and hockey officials especially are keeping a watchful eye on the outbreak — although unlike in China, South Korea, Italy, and other infected countries, big arena events in the US are not being canceled, officials confirmed.

“The health and safety of our employees, teams, players and fans is paramount,” said NBA spokesman Mike Bass.

“We are coordinating with our teams and consulting with the CDC and infectious disease specialists on the coronavirus, and continue to monitor the situation closely.”

Meanwhile, hockey honchos at the NHL and its Players’ Association have created an “Infectious Disease Control Subcommittee,” said Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.

“We do have a group of people we have tabbed to stay on top of developments and to keep us and our Clubs informed,” Daly said.

As of Friday, 60 infected patients are being treated at US hospitals and military bases — 42 of which caught the virus on a single cruise liner, the Diamond Princess.

Given the relatively low numbers, US sports teams are not taking the drastic steps seen in Japan and in Italy, where fans are being barred from attending arena events over coronavirus concerns.

The Summer Olympics are still set to begin in Tokyo in July, though Japan on Friday called for a two-week ban on public events throughout the country.

In Switzerland, where some 100 suspected cases are being monitored, officials announced that all events with more than 1,000 participants are now banned.

A map of the coronavirus cases around the world.
A map of the coronavirus cases around the world.

As a result, “Baselworld,” the country’s largest and oldest watch and jewelry fair, has announced its first postponement in its 102-year history. The event, originally scheduled for April 30 through May 5, will now be held from January 28 to February 2 of 2021, hodinkee.com reported.

The Geneva International Motor Show, scheduled to open this week, has also been canceled.

But as of Friday, event cancellations were not in the offing in the US, where watchful waiting and planning remained the game plan for the major leagues.

Even in the offseason, football officials are staying in contact with The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

The NFL and its Players’ Association are also consulting with medical experts at the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network Program for Infection Prevention, McCarthy said.

“We will continue those discussions throughout our offseason,” he said.

Major league baseball officials and the Yankees did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for details concerning coronavirus preparations. A Mets spokesperson said the team is deferring to the MLB.

Latest Category Posts