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Cleveland Indians encourage COVID-19 safety to ensure full return to ballpark

The Cleveland Indians have released a PSA encouraging fans to take COVID-19 precautions in order to ensure an eventual full return to Progressive Field.

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from March 16, 2021.

On April 5, the Cleveland Indians will welcome fans back to Progressive Field for their 2020 home opener.

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But while the stadium's capacity will be capped at 30 percent, the hope is that the Indians will soon be able to fill their stands.

In order for that to happen, however, Ohio's COVID-19 numbers and trends need to continue to improve. In an effort to help make that happen, the team has released a new public service announcement encouraging fans to continue to take precautions to guard against the spread of the virus, including the wearing of masks, social distancing, hand washing and consulting with one's physician regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.

In the video, several Indians coaches and players can be seen encouraging such behavior in both English and Spanish.

"The Cleveland comeback starts with you," says pitcher Triston McKenzie, third baseman Jose Ramirez and catcher Roberto Perez.

In February, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that the state would permit 30 percent capacity at all outdoor entertainment events, as well as 20 percent capacity at indoor events, including sporting events. He later announced that he will drop all COVID-19-related health orders when the state falls below 50 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents for a two-week period. Asked when he could envision baseball stadiums being able to host a full capacity, DeWine indicated he didn't think it will take long.

"I've described Opening Day in Cleveland -- Indians at 30 percent capacity, but we could be moving away from that by May 1," DeWine said. "I would hope by the time we get to July 4, we might be full capacity."