Monday July 6th, 2020 4:38PM

Jays players headed to Florida, continue talks to play in TO

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

TORONTO (AP) — The Blue Jays are moving players to their spring training facility in Florida while they await word from the Canadian government about playing in Toronto amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Monday that city, provincial and federal authorities “kind of gave their approval,” but the Blue Jays are looking for a letter of support from the federal government.

He also said Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer, requires a few tweaks to MLB's submitted plan to play, which health authorities have been reviewing.

Ford said he was in talks with Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro all weekend.

The team later issued a statement that said it is starting to move players and personnel to its training facility in Dunedin, Florida, to begin testing players.

“The team will either board a charter flight to Toronto to begin training under a modified quarantine, isolated from the general public, or remain in Florida to conduct training,” the team said in a statement.

“The Blue Jays are hopeful to stage training camp and play regular-season home games in Toronto and will continue to work through this possibility."

A couple more teams had thought about resuming training at their facilities in Florida, but that possibility was dashed by a rise in coronavirus cases in the state. Most clubs intend to work out in their regular-season ballparks.

Anna Maddison, a spokesman for the Public Health Agency of Canada, said the federal government continues to be in discussion with the Blue Jays. Maddison said Toronto Public Health and Ontario Ministry of Health are also actively engaged with the Blue Jays.

"All parties are committed to mitigating the risks of the spread of COVID-19 in Canada," she said in an email.

MLB requires an exemption from the restrictions that apply to the rest of Canada during the pandemic. Anyone entering Canada for nonessential reasons must self-isolate for 14 days, and the U.S.-Canada border remains closed to nonessential travel until at least July 21.

Dr. Andrew Morris, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto and the medical director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Sinai-University Health Network, said it would be a bad look for the governments to turn a blind eye to public health for the purpose of resuming professional sports just as Ontario is getting its COVID-19 numbers under control.

“This sets a pretty concerning precedent by allowing people from high-prevalence areas and waiving quarantine for them,” Morris said. “We’ve been pretty cautious about opening up our border. I guess now it’s essential purposes plus baseball.”

Morris noted the NBA will play within one confined area and the NHL within two, but baseball's plan to have all 30 teams traveling makes it hard to imagine there won’t be a spread of the virus.

Morris said Canadian health officials would lose credibility if they grant the exemption.

“These are decisions that are beyond public health. I really hope it doesn’t backfire,” he said.

A senior Canadian government official said last week that if MLB submitted an acceptable restart plan to the government, an exemption letter similar to the one provided to the NHL could be provided. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

MLB announced last week it will have a 60-game regular season that will start July 23 or 24 in ballparks without fans.

Federal and local health authorities in Canada have approved a plan for the NHL to play in either Toronto or Edmonton, Alberta, but the plan does not involve travel back and forth between the U.S. and Canada. That decision last week comes as the NHL enters the advanced stages of selecting its hub cities — most likely two — from an original list of seven in the U.S. and three in Canada. Vancouver, British Columbia has been dropped from consideration.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Online Hockey, AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Jays players headed to Florida, continue talks to play in TO
The Blue Jays are moving players to their spring training facility in Florida while they await word from the Canadian government about playing in Toronto amid the coronavirus pandemic
8:50PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Iowa governor signs abortion law amid court challenge
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a bill requiring women to wait 24 hours to get an abortion
8:23PM ( 30 minutes ago )
States reverse openings, require masks amid virus resurgence
Arizona’s Republican governor has shut down bars, movie theaters, gyms and water parks amid a dramatic resurgence of coronavirus cases
8:22PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Seattle Storm coach to miss WNBA season
Dan Hughes will not coach the Seattle Storm during the 2020 WNBA season over concerns about his risk for severe illness if he contracted COVID-19
7:38PM ( 1 hour ago )
Patriots hope winning still in fashion for new QB Newton
The Patriots have turned to former Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to replace Tom Brady, who defected to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after 19 years, six Super Bowls and three NFL MVP awards
7:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Mets GM says multiple coronavirus cases for team
New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen says one player on the team’s 40-man roster has tested positive for the coronavirus, in addition to multiple minor leaguers
6:37PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
The Latest: Nats' Zimmerman, Ross to skip 2020 season
Longtime Washington Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman and teammate Joe Ross have decided not to play this season
3:48PM ( 5 hours ago )
USGA transfers US media rights from Fox back to NBCUniversal
The USGA is leaving the Fox for the Peacock
12:59PM ( 7 hours ago )
A long-overdue 'Tip of the Cap' to baseball's Black pioneers
The short history of baseball's Negro Leagues is suddenly a tale for our times
9:41AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
The Latest: Harris English tests positive for coronavirus
Harris English is the fifth PGA Tour player to test positive for the coronavirus
3:31PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: NHL says 26 players have reported positive tests
The National Hockey League says a total of 26 players have reported testing positive for the new coronavirus since voluntary workouts began June 8
3:02PM ( 5 hours ago )
Play-in round team wins draft lottery, shot at Lafreniere
Presumptive top selection Alexis Lafreniere will have to wait a little bit longer to find out his NHL destination
10:23PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Online Hockey
Shouting distance: Henry, Werner cheer Liverpool title
Liverpool owners John Henry and Tom Werner cheered from the U.S. as Liverpool clinched its first English league title in 30 years
2:49AM ( 3 days ago )
Rocky business restart and an enticing offer for MLB
Companies and states are both pushing to reopen, but are finding out that sometimes the timelines don't jibe
8:58PM ( 3 days ago )
The Latest: Canucks say Vancouver out of NHL hub city race
The Vancouver Canucks say the city is out of the running to act as a hub for the NHL playoffs
8:00PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
Iowa governor signs abortion law amid court challenge
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a bill requiring women to wait 24 hours to get an abortion
8:23PM ( 31 minutes ago )
States reverse openings, require masks amid virus resurgence
Arizona’s Republican governor has shut down bars, movie theaters, gyms and water parks amid a dramatic resurgence of coronavirus cases
8:22PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Roster shuffle: Plans change in MLB because of health issues
Players like Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake and Nationals slugger Ryan Zimmerman say they're opting out of the upcoming 60-game season
8:04PM ( 49 minutes ago )
The Latest: Oregon, Kansas set to require face coverings
Gov. Kate Brown announced that people throughout Oregon will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces starting Wednesday to slow the spread of the coronavirus
8:04PM ( 49 minutes ago )
Dr. Dre’s wife of 24 years, Nicole Young, files for divorce
Nicole Young, Dr. Dre’s wife of 24 years, has filed for divorce
8:04PM ( 50 minutes ago )