Two Phillies staff members test positive for COVID-19, shutting down Citizens Bank Park

The Philadelphia Phillies announced Thursday that a member of the coaching staff and a home clubhouse employee both tested positive for COVID-19 in testing Wednesday, resulting in the closure of Citizens Bank Park and casting some doubt on a weekend series with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Phillies and Miami Marlins have not played since Sunday, when the Marlins opted to go forth with their game at Philadelphia after four of its players tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Now, 17 Marlins players and two staff members have tested positive, and their season was paused by Major League Baseball until at least Monday.

Phillies players have for the moment dodged infection from that game, as they have been tested daily since Monday and have not reported positive tests. They were scheduled to resume their season Saturday with a doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park against the Blue Jays; Toronto is technically the home team for the three-game series, but is playing all its games on the road after Canadian immigration authorities barred them from playing in their home country due to an enduring wave of coronavirus cases across the USA. The Blue Jays are scheduled to move into temporary quarters at their Class AAA Buffalo affiliate with a game Aug. 11.

The Phillies held a workout at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday, their first baseball-related activity since Sunday's game. Epidemiologists generally recommend that after environmental cleaning, the virus, without a host, shouldn’t pose a risk even in indoor areas of the ballpark for more than 48 hours.

The Phillies, according to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, are expected to make up four games with New York from Monday to Thursday next week – two at Yankee Stadium, two at Citizens Bank Park.

Yet like so much in this 60-game season, that, too, may be subject to change.

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