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Top U.S. health official recommends no “large crowds”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, suggests barring audience at NBA games

MLB: SEP 21 Angels at Rangers Photo by Matthew Pearce\Icon Sportswire

Coronavirus (COVID-19) spread means the NBA should not have anyone in the audience for games being played, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Fauci states that “[w]e would recommend that there not be large crowds. If that means not having any people in the audience as the NBA plays, so be it.”

The NHL would presumably also be recommended to play games without people in the stands. The situation for MLB might be a little different in terms of recommendations, as the health professional have indicated there are greater concerns for large indoor gatherings than outdoor, but I suspect that the recommendation will be that MLB also plan on either canceling games or playing without anyone in the stands.

We mentioned earlier this morning that the Mariners series, which is scheduled for the start of the season with the Rangers playing at Seattle, will almost certainly be canceled, moved, or played before empty stands. We also noted that things are moving rapidly, and it this point, it seems a near certainty that the baseball season, scheduled to start on March 26, will either be delayed or played before empty seats (and possibly at spring training facilities).

You can read about Dr. Fauci, the 79 year old immunologist who has been the top American government medical official dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, which the World Health Organization has just officially declared a pandemic, on Wikipedia here.