The Philadelphia Phillies announced on Friday that several players and staffers tested positive for COVID-19.

The Phillies confirmed that five players and three staff members, who were working at the club's spring training facility in Clearwater, Florida have positive for the virus this week. The identities of the players (and staffers) who tested positive were not immediately clear.

None of the confirmed cases have required hospitalization, NBC10 reports. 

The first case was confirmed on Tuesday (June 16), the Phillies said. This marks baseball's first known cases of COVID-19.

As the reopening process continues across the country, baseball has allowed some players and personnel to return to their spring training facilities in Florida in recent weeks, with safety procedures in place.

Test results are pending for 20 players who live in the area (both major league and minor league). Additionally, 12 staff members are awaiting their testing results as well. The Phillies confirmed that eight staff members have tested negative for the virus.

“The Phillies are committed to the health and welfare of our players, coaches and staff as our highest priority," the team's Managing Partner John Middleton said in a statement issued to the media on Friday. "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,"

The club declined to comment on any possible impacts these developments will have on the team's 2020 season. The overall status of baseball's 2020 season remains in limbo as the league continues to negotiate terms with the player's union.

This marks the first known outbreak in MLB, and NBC10 reports that the commissioner's office was made aware of the news. It was not clear if this affects the ongoing negotiations.

As COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Florida, it is possible that the number of cases connected to this outbreak could continue to grow.

“I’m not trying to scare anyone, but this is real and it spreads quickly and easily and people need to know,” one person who knows some of the Phillies personnel who has tested positive told NBC10.
This is a developing story. We'll have more details when they're made available.

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