Coronavirus concern prompts NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS to ban locker room access for media

Sporting News

The NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS are limiting access to locker rooms following games and practices amid concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

Media are usually granted access to locker rooms or clubhouses for interviews before and after games, but Monday's joint announcement restricts all non-essential personnel to those areas.

Only players and essential employees of teams and team facilities across the U.S. basketball, ice hockey, baseball and football leagues will have access until further notice, starting Tuesday.

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It comes after the Indian Wells Masters and Indian Wells Open — scheduled to start on Wednesday and Thursday respectively in California — were canceled due to fears over the coronavirus.

"After consultation with infectious disease and public health experts, and 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," the joint statement read.

"Media access will be maintained in designated locations outside of the locker room and clubhouse setting. These changes will be effective beginning with tomorrow's games and practices. We will continue to closely monitor this situation and take any further steps necessary to maintain a safe and welcoming environment."

The coronavirus has killed over 3,800 people worldwide, with more than 110,000 confirmed cases.

There have been more than 500 confirmed cases in the United States, with 21 deaths.

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