Major sports leagues are implementing a new practice following the COVID-19 scare. The NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS announced in a joint statement on Monday, March 9, 2020, that they would no longer be allowing nonessential personnel into team locker rooms. Reporters, fans, or anyone who isn't essential to the team, will be barred from entering the space until further notice.

According to the statement from MLS, the call to limit the number of people in locker rooms comes after they consulted with public health experts. 

"After consultation with infectious disease and public health experts, given the issues that can be associated with close contact in pre- and post-game settings, all team locker rooms, and clubhouses will be open only to players and essential employees of teams and team facilities until further notice. Media access will be maintained in designated locations outside of the locker room and clubhouse setting," read a statement from MLS communication.

However, this isn't the only step that is being considered in an attempt to protect players across North America. 

The NBA reportedly also warned teams last Friday that they should prepare to play games without fans or media in a necessary precaution against the novel coronavirus.

 

However, Narcity later reached out to the league's New York office, who confirmed that there are "no current plans in place to play games without fans in our arenas."

Although the league also noted that it would continue to consult with the CDC and specialists on the issue. 

The news of locker room shutdowns comes in a long line of precautions that Maple Leafs Sports Entertainment has been taking against COVID-19.

They also announced that they are making more hand sanitizer readily available.

"MLSE is in regular contact with Toronto Public Health to implement their recommended measures to prevent any risk to the general public and those attending events in our venues," MLSE told Narcity. 

"We are reinforcing Toronto Public Health's assessment that the risk to our community remains low, and in addition to making more hand sanitizer stations available within our venues, we are sharing their advice to residents to take the usual measures to reduce the risk of transmission of the flu and respiratory illness, which include getting a yearly flu vaccine, washing hands frequently, covering your cough or sneeze and staying home if you are ill," it added.

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