PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- After around a dozen Marlins players and two coaches tested positive for COVID-19, Major League Baseball is facing a major setback.
"Its always been a worry. Its been a worry since the outbreak first started that we may not have sports," said Christian Starr of West Philadelphia.
The Marlins were set to fly home to Miami Monday but their flight is canceled, as well as their home opener.
Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said in a statement: "We have conducted another round of testing for our players and staff, and our team will all remain in Philadelphia pending the results of those tests, which we expect later today. We will provide additional information as soon as it becomes available."
A spokesperson for the Philadelphia Health Department responded to the incident saying:
We support the decision by the Marlins to shelter in Philadelphia in response to the positive tests. Members of the Marlins organization who have tested positive are in isolation in the team hotel, which is taking all of the recommended precautions to protect staff, including no-touch food delivery. We are in consultation with the Phillies organization to ensure that they are following MLB safety and testing protocols with players and staff. Per those protocols, the Phillies have been in frequent contact with the Health Department providing updates on both the Phillies and Marlins staffs and teams. The Marlins are conducting contact tracing as is described in the MLB protocol and have also been in contact with the Health Department.
MLB guidelines state players will be isolated from the team until they test negative twice at least 24 hours apart, show no symptoms for 72 hours and receive approval from team doctors.
Action News reports during the series, Marlins players who tested positive stayed at The Rittenhouse Hotel. Representatives from Unite Here Local 274 said they have concerns about the safety of hotel workers while these players isolate, such as lack of enforcement of mask-wearing.
"They've (hotel workers) been seeing COVID positive guests quarantining, self-quarantining inside of hotels in many cases or people who are not self quarantining and just trying to get out of their house," said Katharine Christiani, Executive Vice President of UNITE HERE Philly Local 274. "There's always a risk involved."
Fans said they were excited at the start of baseball season but predict it will be canceled.
"I can't imagine them getting through it," said Diane Bednarik of Woolwich Township. "Look, they can't even have one series, three games and now they can't play, the Marlins can't play."