Phillies close Florida camp after eight COVID-19 cases


Los Angeles (AFP)

The Philadelphia Phillies said Friday five players and three members of staff have tested positive for COVID-19 at the club's Clearwater training base in Florida.

In a statement, the Major League Baseball franchise said it was shutting down the facility indefinitely.

The team said a further 12 staff members and 20 players from the club's major league and minor league rosters were awaiting results of tests.

The news comes as Florida announced a record single-day spike of COVID-19 cases on Friday, with nearly 4,000 new recorded infections.

Florida is set to host the return of both the NBA and Major League Soccer in July, which have been in shutdown since the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in March.

Phillies managing partner John Middleton said all the team's facilities were being closed as a precaution.

"The Phillies are committed to the health and welfare of our players, coaches and staff as our highest priority, and as a result of these confirmed tests, all facilities in Clearwater have been closed indefinitely to all players, coaches and staff and will remain closed until medical authorities are confident that the virus is under control and our facilities are disinfected," Middleton said in a statement.

The club said it was "too early to know" how the Clearwater outbreak could impact the Phillies' 2020 season.

Major League Baseball is currently locked in bitter negotiations with the league's players union over the terms of a shortened season.