Blue Jays players arrive in Toronto and go into isolation in hotel at Rogers Centre
The Toronto Blue Jays were approved to hold Summer Training Camp at the Rogers Centre less than a week ago, and players arrived in the city late last night. They immediately headed over to the stadium and attached hotel — where they'll remain for the long haul.
For the duration of Summer Camp, Blue Jays players will not be allowed to leave the "stadium footprint," according to MLB, meaning they'll have to stay within the confines of Rogers Centre and the adjacent hotel.
.@BlueJays arrived in #Toronto from St. Petersburg, #Florida on @AirCanada chartered flight earlier. Players will hold training camp @RogersCentre and then stay isolated in the adjoining hotel next door. pic.twitter.com/u2Sf78uO9K— DR (@Media371) July 6, 2020
At the Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel, players are staying in a block of rooms separated from the rest of the hotel which provides them with direct access to the field.
The baseball players had gathered in Dunedin, Florida, before returning to Canada, and they were required to receive two negative COVID-19 tests before heading home.
On Sunday evening, players and staff flew on a charter plane to Pearson International Airport and then boarded private buses (with strict cleaning protocols in place) that took them straight to Rogers Centre.
We're coming home 💙— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 2, 2020
Our Summer Training Camp will be held at Rogers Centre! pic.twitter.com/OPKIjVPUl9
According to a Blue Jays press release, significant isolation and social distancing measures are in place to ensure the safety of Blue Jays players.
"In collaboration with public health agencies, the Blue Jays have established comprehensive protocols to ensure the highest standards of health and safety are met prior to and during travel, and to create a cohort quarantine environment at Rogers Centre and the adjoining hotel," notes the release.
"These protocols will be in place in addition to those outlined in the 2020 MLB Operations Manual."
Athletes are being provided with contactless food delivery and private dining to avoid interaction with the public, all check-ins and check-outs will be contactless, and the use of common spaces such as elevators is being discouraged.
There will also be distance between each player stall in the four clubhouses being used, shared toiletries are being removed with every second sink blocked off, they'll use both home and visiting batting cages, and they'll have five mounds between the bullpens and the field.
Players and coaches will also train in waves in order to avoid having staff members on the field for entire days and overlapping between different waves of players.
Players will also be subject to COVID-19 tests every two days, as well as temperature checks two times a day and antibody testing once a month.
"Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro shared Thursday that the Blue Jays will play no exhibition games in Summer Camp, meaning all of their preparation will come against each other," wrote MLB reporter Keegan Matheson.
"Add that to their travel in the coming days, and the fact that the Blue Jays will be the only club facing many of these limitations, and it's clear that they'll be fighting uphill a bit. That puts extra value on the players' individual preparations over the past three-plus months."
The Canadian government has yet to approve the Blue Jays playing outside of Toronto, which would be required for a regular season, but Shapiro has said they're hoping to get a response about this within the next week or so.
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