Phillies coach, staffer test positive for COVID-19; all ballpark activity halts

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By KYW Newsradio 1060

UPDATED: 5:21 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Phillies announced Thursday that two more staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus, and now all activity at Citizens Bank Park is on hold until further notice.

No players have tested positive for the third consecutive day, but the Phillies say results from Wednesday’s tests showed that a member of the coaching staff and a member of the home clubhouse staff both have COVID-19.

As a result, the team says, all activities at Citizens Bank Park have been cancelled until further notice.

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— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) July 30, 2020  

The Phillies’ four-game home-and-home series with the Yankees this week was postponed. The Phillies’ weekend series against the Toronto Blue Jays has also been postponed.

The postponements followed last weekend’s series with the Miami Marlins, who remain quarantined in Philadelphia after 17 players and two staffers reportedly tested positive. 

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— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) July 30, 2020

Phils General Manager Matt Klentak confirmed Wednesday that a Phillies visiting clubhouse attendant had tested positive after that series.

It’s a sad end to a week that has been quite eventful for the Phillies, despite not having played since Sunday.

The Phillies had been hoping to play a double-header against the Blue Jays this Saturday at Citizens Bank Park, following the postponement from Friday. It's unclear if those games will proceed.

Klentak said the “two-fold goal” has been to keep players and staff healthy and to play as many games as possible.

"And if that comes with some competitive imbalances, that’s just something that we’re gonna have to live with," Klentak said.

"We all recognize this season was gonna present a lot of challenges, and that all parties involved — players, teams, everybody — we’re gonna need to be flexible," he said.

And while it’s well documented that Marlins players were fine with playing on Sunday despite an outbreak, Klentak explained MLB ultimately decides whether games happen or not.

"There were others at the league level that knew about the positive tests before we did, so the determination was made at that point that it was safe," she said.

However, now it seems that the virus has traveled from one clubhouse to the other. 

He says the Phils will keep up daily testing for the foreseeable future.

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KYW Newsradio's Mike Denardo, Dan Majka, Dave Uram and Eric Walter contributed to this report.