Weeks after players from the Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates first expressed concerns over a end of May game scheduled in San Juan where Zika virus is flourishing, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) jointly announced Friday that the two-game series in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which had been slated for May 30-31 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium, has been relocated to Miami’s Marlins Park.
The Players Association requested that Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. relocate the games after numerous players expressed concerns about contracting and potentially transmitting the Zika virus to their partners.
Players and staff of both clubs received full briefings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) science staff regarding the risks associated with the Zika virus and the recommended precautions for travelers including those with partners who are pregnant or attempting to conceive.
After discussing the issue with all involved parties, and consulting with federal and Puerto Rican government officials at the highest levels, Commissioner Manfred decided that the players who objected to the trip because of their specific family situations should not be forced to travel to Puerto Rico. Because too many regulars on both clubs fell into that category, Commissioner Manfred had no choice but to relocate the games.
On Friday, Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Health, Ana Armendariz Ríus reported an additional 78 confirmed cases of Zika in the week ending Apr. 21, including 11 more pregnant women.
This brings the total confirmed Zika cases in Puerto Rico to 785. including one fatality.
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