The Los Angeles Dodgers are scheduled to begin their second homestand of the season tonight at Dodger Stadium against the San Francisco Giants amid tightened coronavirus safety protocols.
Major League Baseball informed its 30 teams Wednesday of changes to its operations manual, including requiring players and staff to wear face coverings at all times and in all places in the ballpark except for players on the field of play.
All on-field coaches must wear face coverings and umpires will wear face coverings to the extent feasible while performing their duties.
When players and coaches are in the dugouts and bullpens their face coverings must fully cover their mouths and noses.
Other changes include:
- A requirement for face coverings at hotels and elsewhere in public on the road;
- Prohibitions on being at crowded venues;
- Potential prohibition of participation for players or employees who repeatedly or flagrantly violate protocols;
- Potential discipline for employees who fail to follow rules regarding quarantine and isolation;
- Requiring submission of a club code of conduct;
- Minimizing time indoors;
- Reducing traveling staff to essential personnel;
- More duties for the club compliance officer, who is responsible for ensuring that the operations manual is being followed;
- Reminders of best practices when to eat and drink; and
- Reminders on when to use point-of-care testing.
The changes come after coronavirus outbreaks on the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals that prompted postponements of multiple games and rescheduling games for several other teams.
Before the start of the regular season, MLB's instituted protocols include calling for players, umpires and other on-field personnel "to practice physical distancing to the extent possible within the limitations of competition and the fundamentals of baseball"; strictly enforcing prohibitions against unsportsmanlike conduct to prevent unnecessary physical contact and support physical distancing between individuals on the playing field; requiring teams to provide expanded dugout and bullpen space; and having all non-playing personnel wear face coverings at all times in the dugout and bullpen