A potential pitcher for the Boston Red Sox has been quarantined by the team over coronavirus fears after the young prospect arrived in Florida to join them for spring training.
Chih-Jung Liu, 20, landed in Fort Myers, Florida, from his home country of Taiwan last week, and was immediately told to stay in his hotel room to guard the rest of the team against possible coronavirus infection, The Boston Globe reported.
According to the outlet, Liu wrote on his Facebook page that he has been feeling fine and is not displaying any symptoms of the virus. He is being delivered three meals a day and is allowed to go on an occasional run, as well as do some weight training.
The Taiwanese player — who signed with the team on Oct. 22, 2019, as an international free agent — said he spends the rest of his free time studying and researching the team.
A Red Sox spokesman told the Globe that they were using “an overabundance of caution” with Liu, as worldwide concern over the virus continues to grow.
The team previously quarantined their Taiwanese infielder, Tzu-Wei Lin, earlier this month. The player told the Globe that he was asked to “go back to [his] apartment” when he arrived.
“I was fine,” he told the outlet. ” I stayed away for one day and that was it.”
The U.S. is currently screening all international arrivals at major airports for possible signs of coronavirus, however, symptoms can take several weeks to show.
Liu had originally flown from Taipei to San Francisco, before taking a connecting flight to Fort Myers.
On Tuesday, Health officials with the Centers for Disease Control warned Americans to begin preparing for the likelihood that coronavirus will spread in the U.S.
“It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country anymore but a question of when this will happen,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC said during a press briefing on Tuesday.
Messonnier said that Americans “need to prepare for a significant disruption” to their lives and plan for possible school closures, find out about teleworking options and if their health care providers offer telemedicine options.
“We are asking the American public to prepare in the expectation that this could be bad,” she said.
“The spread in other countries has raised our level of concern and raised our level of expectation that we are going to have community spread here,” Messonnier continued. “We’re asking folks in every sector as well as people within their families to start planning for this, because as we’ve seen from the recent countries that have had community spread, when it’s hit in those countries it has moved quite rapidly so we want to make sure that the American public is prepared.”
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As of Tuesday, the U.S. has 53 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Of those, 12 cases occurred in people who recently returned from trips to China before news of the outbreak spread and two cases were from their close contacts.
The remaining 39 cases are in people who were repatriated by the U.S. Department of State, either in one of the three chartered flights of Americans who had been living in China or from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that had been quarantined in Yokohama, Japan.
Taiwan has reported 31 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Tuesday.