Pirates conduct deep clean of spring training facility as coronavirus spreads

A sanitation team conducted a deep clean of the Pittsburgh Pirates' spring training facility in Bradenton, Florida, on Tuesday morning out of "an overabundance of caution" after a man in Manatee County tested positive for coronavirus.

The cleaning, which was confirmed by the team, included using a sanitizing machine to address surfaces in the team's clubhouse, offices, press box, suites, dugouts and concession stands. The Pirates did not undertake the cleaning as a response to any concerns about employees or others near the team carrying coronavirus, a team spokesman told ESPN.

"In an effort to be as proactive as possible and perhaps in an overabundance of caution, we took advantage of our scheduled off day to professionally sanitize and deep clean LECOM Park," said Brian Warecki, the Pirates' vice president of communications. "We will continue to actively consider other efforts that we can implement to help maintain a healthy environment for our fans, players and staff."

The Pirates plan to hold a meeting with players on Wednesday to address proper safety protocols for trying to avoid coronavirus, which has exceeded 90,000 cases and 3,000 deaths worldwide. More than 100 cases have been detected in the United States, and Major League Baseball on Tuesday sent a memo to all 30 teams offering suggestions to prepare for a potential outbreak in their city.

In ordering the sanitizing, the Pirates went beyond the league's current recommendations, which include players not touching baseballs or pens handed to them by fans for autographs and ensuring players are up to date on their flu vaccines.

In recent days, the Pirates had consulted with local healthcare partners, as well as MLB, and after discussions, team owner Bob Nutting and president Travis Williams commissioned the cleaning.