Canaries monitoring players’ safety as season continues through pandemic

Sports

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The American Association’s baseball season began last week, but after two games, the league saw its first positive COVID-19 test. That forced Milwaukee and Chicago to postpone their game on Sunday.

Self-policing is of the utmost importance for the Canaries this season, with players being asked to limit their exposure when they aren’t at the Birdcage.

“We got 60 games in 70 days. Give us 70 days of your full commitment. They’ve been awesome. They’ve been great. I couldn’t have asked for more out of them so far,” Canaries General Manager Duell Higbe said.

Players were tested prior to the season, and are screened everyday before entering team facilities. If a player feels sick or is exposed to COVID-19, the team has testing available on site.

“We’re going to bring that player, before they get into the facility, before they interact with anybody else here, they go to that isolation room, we call our medical provider, Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital, they send somebody out with a test, boom we test them right there,” Higbe said.

If a player tests positive he won’t be able to play.

“He’s going to be quarantined until we get a negative test result. Same with other players, we’re going to make sure they are, everybody is passing the symptom tests, and temperature tests. If any of them are feeling ill, they’re not going to be allowed into the facility either,” Higbe said.

While in Sioux Falls, daily screenings are the only test players must pass, but that policy changes when the team heads on the road.

“Prior to every road trip, before the team gets on the bus, we’re testing everybody as well then,” Higbe said.

And once on the road, self-policing will once again be a priority.

“Similar to while you’re in town here, stay in your hotel room. Stay confined as much as possible. Go to the bus, go to the field, that’s all we’re asking them to do,” Higbe said.

Higbe says if a positive test forced them to postpone any game, tickets purchased for that event will good for another game this summer.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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