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Major League Soccer sidelined for eight more weeks due to coronavirus crisis

League says it's committed to playing full 34-game schedule
Posted: 12:30 PM, Mar 19, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-19 12:53:04-04
FC Cincinnati

Editor’s note: With our coronavirus coverage, our goal is not to alarm you but to equip you with the information you need. We will try to keep things in context and focus on helping you make decisions. See a list of resources and frequently asked questions at the end of this story.

CINCINNATI - FC Cincinnati and Major League Soccer will be sidelined at least until mid-May to comply with CDC recommendations during the coronavirus crisis, the league announced Thursday.

The new eight-week layoff would put FC Cincinnati's next game on May 16 at Toronto. By then, FC Cincinnati would have been sidelined for nine games after losing its first two games on the road before the league suspended play due to the pandemic.

MLS said it remains committed to playing a full 34-game schedule and would add games to the end to extend the season if necessary. FC Cincinnati's last regular-season game had been scheduled for Oct. 4.

SEE FC Cincinnati's schedule.

In a Thursday statement, MLS said it "remains focused on playing the entire 2020 season and is evaluating all options, including pushing back the end of the season and playing the MLS Cup in December, as the league did prior to the 2019 season. The league is also identifying other available dates."

A week ago, MLS announced it would suspend play for 30 days, but three days later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended postponing events with 50 or more people for eight weeks.

FC Cincinnati lost its first two games on the road in New York and Atlanta.

Find more coronavirus/COVID-19 hotlines and resources below:

Ohio

  • Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 833-4-ASK-ODH
  • See ODH’s COVID-19 resources here.

Kentucky

  • State COVID-19 hotline: 1-800-722-5725
  • See the Cabinet for Health and Family Services coronavirus resource site here.

Indiana

  • SDH Epidemiology Resource Center: (317) 233-7125 or (317) 233-1325 after hours, or e-mail epiresource@isdh.in.gov
  • See more information for coronavirus in Indiana here.

What is coronavirus, COVID-19?

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are "a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

A novel coronavirus, such as COVID-19, is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 37 locations across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the CDC.

The CDC reports the initial patients in China have some link to a large seafood and live animal market, indicative of animal-to-person spread. A growing number of patients, however, did not report exposure to animal markets, indicating the disease is spreading person-to-person.

What are the symptoms? How does it spread?

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death, according to the CDC. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath.

The CDC said symptoms could appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. It is similar to the incubation period for MERS.

Spread of the virus is thought to be mainly from person-to-person. Spread is between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet). Spread occurs via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

According to the CDC, it could be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, the CDC said.

The disease is most contagious when people are the sickest and showing the most symptoms.