After the outbreak of the corona virus, four major North American professional athletes announced they would restrict access to locker rooms by restricting the media and non-essential personnel.
Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS), National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) made the following joint statement on Monday evening:
“After consulting with infectious disease and public health experts and considering the problems that can be associated with close contact before and after the game, all team changing rooms and clubhouses are only available to players and key team and team members until further notice . Media access is maintained in certain locations outside of the locker room and club house. These temporary changes will take effect as of tomorrow’s games and exercises.
“We will continue to monitor this situation closely and take further steps to ensure a safe and welcoming environment.”
Prior to Monday, some professional sports teams had already closed their locker rooms, while others had not, the Washington Post reported.
Given the warming of NCAA March Madness, it remains unclear whether the college’s locker rooms will be closed to the media during the NCAA tournament. They are traditionally open and a lot of reporters come in the days before and immediately after the games. It is common for large groups of reporters to be in college locker rooms during the NCAA tournament.
Players and coaches will also be made available on a podium in a larger interview room. This also applies if the changing rooms are closed or not.
The NCAA also announced that it was planned on Sunday to continue the tournament at all 14 locations, including the First Four in Dayton, with fans present.
“We are currently definitely planning to host the tournament at all 14 locations with fans, from the first four in Dayton to the last four in Atlanta,” said Dan Gavitt, senior vice president of NCAA Basketball.
A spokesman for the Big East tournament in New York earlier this week said that no decision had yet been made to open or close changing rooms in Madison Square Garden.
However, the tournament announced that it would continue with fans in the arena.