CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from Dec. 15, 2020.
While the Cleveland Indians still don't know how many fans they'll be allowed to welcome back to Progressive Field this season amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the franchise is coming up with a plan for when it can.
On Thursday, the Indians announced that they have teamed with the Cleveland Clinic "for the health system to provide health and safety guidance to the Club, in anticipation of fans being allowed to return to Progressive Field for the 2021 season." Through the health and safety partnership, Cleveland Clinic’s team of pandemic response experts and physicians will work with the Indians to provide research and guidelines for fans to safely return to the stadium.
“Providing health and safety recommendations is an important step we can take to help keep our community safer as we work to resume activities we enjoyed pre-pandemic,” James Merlino, M.D., Chief Clinical Transformation Officer at Cleveland Clinic, said in a statement. “We are proud to advise the Cleveland Indians on implementing public health measures, which continue to be important during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Health and safety training will be provided for Indians staff members as a result of the partnership, as will recommended guidelines and disinfection plans for the entertainment venue. In order to remind fans of the stadium's health guidelines, Cleveland Clinic’s S-A-F-E branding will be featured around the ballpark.
More detailed protocols will be announced as available.
“We are extremely fortunate to have one of the top medical centers in the world in our backyard to partner with and lead us in fan health and safety at Progressive Field,” said Neil Weiss, Cleveland Indians Senior Vice President, Ballpark Operations and Chief Information Officer. “We look forward to the day when we can welcome the best fans in baseball back to the ballpark.”