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Phillies close Citizens Bank Park after two positive coronavirus tests; Blue Jays manager says weekend series is postponed

Matt Breen, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Baseball

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies canceled all activity at Citizens Bank Park until further notice on Thursday after two employees tested positive for COVID-19.

One member of the Phillies coaching staff and one member of the home clubhouse staff tested positive, the team announced. A member of the visiting clubhouse staff also tested positive in recent days, as the Phillies continue to monitor the fallout from their three-game series with the Marlins, who have had 17 players and two coaches test positive since Friday.

No Phillies players have tested positive since the initial intake screenings at the start of summer camp, according to the team, but it could take up to two weeks for an infected person to test positive. Major League Baseball postponed the team's games until Saturday to provide for an extended incubation period.

The Phillies were scheduled to play a doubleheader Saturday against the Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park. But Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo told reporters Thursday that the series, which would have concluded Sunday, is being postponed.

MLB has not yet announced any postponements.

MLB officials believed the Marlins' outbreak was isolated to only one team. But the Phillies' positive tests indicate that isn't the case.

In a 40-minute call with reporters Wednesday, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak expressed caution about whether the team was out of the woods in terms of exposure to the virus during the series with the Marlins.

 

"I think the fact that we've had multiple consecutive days of no positives (Monday and Tuesday) is making us feel better every day," Klentak said. "I don't know that if in this particular season that you're ever going to feel perfectly confident about anything. That's just the reality of it."

The Phillies returned to Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday for a workout, their first baseball activity since Sunday's game against Miami. After undergoing alternate-day testing since the start of training camp on July 3, the Phillies moved to daily testing this week in the aftermath of the Marlins series.

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