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Coronavirus: MLB suspends spring training, delays opening day

Toronto Blue Jays' Nate Pearson delivers a pitch during live batting practice at a spring training baseball workout Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, in Dunedin, Fla.
Toronto Blue Jays' Nate Pearson delivers a pitch during live batting practice at a spring training baseball workout Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, in Dunedin, Fla. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Major League Baseball (MLB) has announced it will suspend the rest of spring training and has delayed Opening Day by two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The league made the announcement Thursday afternoon after the NBA and the NHL announced its seasons have been suspended indefinitely and the MLS said it would be suspending its 2020 season for the next 30 days.

READ MORE: Toronto Raptors, staff to go into self-isolation due to possible coronavirus exposure

The NBA announced its suspension in the wake of a player on the Utah Jazz testing positive for Coronavirus. The MLB, however, has not had any confirmed cases in regard to players or staff.

“This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, clubs and our millions of loyal fans,” a statement on behalf of the MLB said.

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The league said as of 4 p.m. Thursday, all spring training games have been cancelled, along with the 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifier games which were to take place in Tucson, Ariz.

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“Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans. MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts.”

There are currently 59 cases of coronavirus in Ontario, including a baby boy and over 100 in Canada.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: MLS suspends season for 30 days

The Toronto Blue Jays, Canada’s lone MLB team, is currently in Dunedin, Florida for spring training.

A statement from the Jays released Thursday said the team is in “full support” of the league’s decision.

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