Safety measures released for Blue Jays games in Buffalo

Burstein and Poloncarz "confident that strong safeguards are in place"

WBEN Newsroom
July 30, 2020 - 3:12 pm

    BUFFALO (WBEN) - Answers to safety COVID-19 safety-related concerns with the Toronto Blue Jays playing homes games in Buffalo at Sahlen Field have been answered in a memorandum released by Erie County.

    Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein held a video conference call Thursday with various Major League Baseball officials to discuss the protocols and safety measures that will be in effect for Blue Jays games at Sahlen Field.

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    According to a press release from Erie County, it was confirmed that players, coaches and all other visiting team staff will not be allowed to leave their hotel unless they're going to Sahlen Field or the airport. Within hotels, with the exception of meals, personnel will not be allowed to leave their hotel rooms. 

    It was also confirmed that all teams traveling from a state with significant rates of COVID-19 transmission, will be subject to the New York State Department of Health “Interim Guidance for Professional Sports Teams Traveling Between States with Significant Community Spread of COVID-19 and New York State” issued on June 28, 2020, including the Blue Jays or any other team, including New York based teams such as the New York Yankees and New York Mets, traveling to Buffalo from another state.

    Additionally, it was agreed upon that MLB would follow any additional health and safety orders as issued by the Erie County Health Department and County Executive’s Office through an emergency executive order, and that MLB would provide to the Health Department any requested health, safety and other information necessary to ensure the safety of the general public.

    “We applaud Major League Baseball's focus on practicing robust public health measures to ensure that team players and the community remain healthy and safe," said Burstein. "County Executive Poloncarz and I left the meeting feeling confident that strong safeguards are in place to prevent COVID-19 transmission among the players or in our community.”

    Dr. Joseph Chow of WNY Immediate Care says it's encouraging to see MLB take this very seriously. "It feels like it's going to be a limited exposure to the public if  at all," says Chow. "The players and the teams are very cognizant that any outbreak, when you take a look at the Marlins, it's in everyone's best interest to keep this at bay." Chow cites the Marlins case as an example of one player spreading it to others, which could put the team's season in jeopardy. 

    "They should follow similar guidelines that the public has about masking, trying to social distance, and I believe the teams have access to testing also," says Chow. "They should also be basing this on symptoms. If there's a player who's not feeling well, sometimes a test won't come up positive right away, and there can be false negatives."

    Chow says these teams should have a tight rein on where players go and see, and will be under the magnifying glass. "I think people will scrutinize if there are any wide ourbreaks. I hope these teams understand that and will try to prevent any bad outcomes," urges Chow. 


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