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MLB, MLS, NBA, and NHL locker rooms and clubhouses restricted to players and essential staff

Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the NBA, and the NHL are restricting locker room access due to COVID-19 fears.

WASHINGTON — It was only a matter of time.

Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball association, and the National Hockey League jointly announced that the leagues are restricting access of all team locker rooms and clubhouses to players and essential staff.

“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,” said the leagues in a joint statement. “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.

The leagues say the change in policy is temporary, but they did say that more action may be taken in the future to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We will continue to closely monitor this situation and take any further steps necessary to maintain a safe and welcoming environment,” said MLB, MLS, the NBA, and the NHL.

Currently fans are still allowed to attend games, and public practices.

The Capitals, hold public practices at MedStar Capitals Iceplex.

According to a Capitals spokesperson, the team will maintain the "status quo for now" to allow fans to attend practices.

The Wizards are instituting a policy where requested players will be brought to the podium in the team’s interview room after home games.

According to the Washington Post, media will be required to request players through the media relations staff, but players can decline speaking to the media.

Sporting events around the world have been interrupted due to the spread of the coronavirus.

The 2020 men’s and women’s tennis event in Indian Wells, California, scheduled for this week, was cancelled.

All sports in Italy, including Serie A, have been suspended through April 3.

NCAA Division III basketball games held at Johns Hopkins last week were played in front of no spectators.

RELATED: Wise: Canceled hotel reservations, an empty gym for their NCAA playoff games | Amid coronavirus scare, one team deals with new kind of March Madness

RELATED: No fans will attend DIII basketball tournament games at Johns Hopkins

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