Elderly told to stay home and stock up, sports leagues shut lockerrooms, theme parks on alert as coronavirus fears grow – The Sun

AS coronavirus fears grow, the elderly and the most vulnerable are told to stay home, sports leagues have shut locker rooms, and theme parks have been put on alert.

The actions come as more than 760 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the U.S., with 27 deaths.

The CDC sent out an advisory to those most at risk of becoming seriously ill from the coronavirus, including older adults and people who have chronic medical conditions, urging them to stay home and take extra precautions in a Monday update.

"If a COVID-19 outbreak happens in your community, it could last for a long time," the CDC said.

In the event of a outbreak, the health agency urged those most at risk to stay home.

"If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease," the agency added.

To prepare for the virus as it continues to spread across communities around the U.S. — and the world — the CDC urged at-risk people to stock up on supplies, avoid crowds, and to not go on cruises or travel by air if it's not essential.

As the CDC urged those most at risk from developing severe illness from the virus, sports leagues are taking extra precautions to keep players from becoming sick.

Sports leagues including the NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and Major League soccer announced in a joint statement Monday they are all closing their lockerrooms to non-essential people,including media amid growing coronavirus fears beginning today.

“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 statement said.

"Media access will be maintained in designated locations outside of the locker room and clubhouse setting.”

It was not clear how long the change would last, as officials worldwide have implemented strict measures and advisories to halt spread as much as possible.

Theme parks — which have been eyed as a potential point of spread as they are often crowded with a large number of people — are on high alert.

"There is definitely concern," Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services Inc., an independent industry consultant, said of the possible impacts of the virus.

"Particularly how and when it could manifest itself in the U.S."

Theme parks overseas in Asia — including Disney's Shanghai and Hong Kong parks — have been closed for weeks.

Tom Schroder, a spokesperson for Universal Orlando, said the park is using "best-practice health and hygiene procedures" in reaction to the virus, and are ready to take other actions if necessary.

“We will continue to closely monitor the situation and be ready to act as needed,” Schroder said.

As cases continue to spread and companies have increasingly encouraged workers to work from home, President Donald Trump spoke of possible payroll tax relief and help for hourly-wage workers to help avoid financial burdens.

Trump said his administration would speak with Congress to discuss "a possible payroll tax cut or relief, substantial relief, very substantial relief, that’s big, that’s a big number," when speaking with reporters Monday night.

"We’re also going to be talking about hourly wage earners getting help so that they can be in a position where they’re not going to ever miss a paycheck," Trump said.

The announcements came as more than 116,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide, with more than 4,000 deaths.

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