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Virus rocks MLB: Cards-Brewers off; 2 St. Louis positives

NEW YORK — The coronavirus forced another change in Major League Baseball’s schedule, bringing the league’s total to eight teams affected in the first nine days of the season.

Friday’s game between St. Louis and Milwaukee was postponed after two Cardinals players tested positive for the coronavirus.

The league announced the schedule change hours before the game was to be played. It said the postponement in Milwaukee is “consistent with protocols to allow enough time for additional testing and contact tracing to be conducted.”

The Cardinals said in a statement they learned Thursday night about positive tests from samples collected Wednesday. Players and staff have been instructed to isolate in their hotel rooms in Milwaukee, and the club did not leave the hotel Friday for Miller Park.

“The team is currently conducting rapid testing of the entire travelling party, has implemented contact tracing, and will continue to self-isolate,” the team said.

The Brewers and Cardinals plan to resume their schedule Saturday night at Miller Park, pending results from the testing and contact tracing, and make up Friday’s game as part of a doubleheader Sunday.

“We are supportive of Major League Baseball’s decision to postpone today’s game and look forward to playing our home opener as soon as conditions safely allow,” Brewers general manager David Stearns said in a statement. “The health and safety of our players and employees are, and will continue to be, our top priorities.”

Two other games scheduled for Friday involving the Marlins, Nationals, Blue Jays and Phillies had already been postponed because of an outbreak among Miami players and two positive tests on Philadelphia’s coaching staff.

The Cardinals played in Minnesota on Tuesday and Wednesday before a scheduled day off Thursday. The Twins hosted Cleveland on Thursday night, and the Indians used the same visiting clubhouse as St. Louis.

It’s uncertain if the Indians and Twins will move forward with their scheduled game Friday night. Cleveland planned to hold a team meeting early in the afternoon to discuss the situation.

A week into its virus-shortened season of 60 games in 67 days, Major League Baseball is scrambling to adjust its schedule.

The Marlins haven’t played since Sunday, and Miami’s situation has also led to schedule changes for the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles.

Miami learned Friday that another player tested positive, bringing its total to 18 players and two staff members, according to a person familiar with the situation. The person, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made, said none of the Marlins has shown serious symptoms.

The infected Marlins left Philadelphia in sleeper buses Friday to return to Miami, where they will remain together in quarantine, according to the person. The trip is expected to take about 18 hours.

The rest of the team will spend the weekend in isolation in Philadelphia, where the Marlins have been stranded since their outbreak began. It’s uncertain when or where they will next play.

Officials were concerned that the latest Marlins positive test result came five days after the team was last together, when the Marlins beat Philadelphia.

To help make up all the postponements, MLB and the players’ union agreed Thursday that doubleheaders this season will become a pair of seven-inning games, according to a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because there was no announcement.

The Brewers have never hosted a doubleheader at Miller Park, which has a retractable roof. The last twinbill in Milwaukee was Sept. 23, 2000 against the Pirates at Milwaukee County Stadium.

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AP Sports Writer Steven Wine and Baseball Writer Ben Walker contributed to this report.

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Follow Jake Seiner: https://twitter.com/Jake_Seiner

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Jake Seiner, The Associated Press




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Canada

Feds earmark $3.3B for provinces, territories for COVID-19 infrastructure

OTTAWA — The federal government is moving ahead with plans to make it easier for provinces and territories to spend billions of dollars on infrastructure projects to address the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna says $3.3 billion out of the $33 billion that Ottawa has previously promised in matching funds for provincial and territorial projects will be available for projects related to the pandemic.

Those projects include retrofits to public buildings such as schools and long-term care facilities, measures related to physical distancing such as new bike and walking paths and those designed to protect against floods and wildfires.

McKenna says the federal government plans to introduce a faster application process for provinces and territories to apply for federal funds, with Ottawa footing up to 80 per cent of the bills for approved projects.

The new approach comes as most provinces are looking at re-opening schools in the next month and trying to guard against new outbreaks of COVID-19 at nursing homes.

While the measure is expected to be welcomed by provinces and territories, each must sign an agreement with the federal government before it can apply for funding.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 5, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Canada

Calgary Zoo worried about giant pandas as bamboo supply running out

CALGARY — Time and food supplies are running out for two giant pandas at the Calgary Zoo.

Er Shun and Da Mao arrived in Calgary in 2018 after spending five years at the Toronto Zoo and were to remain in the Alberta city until 2023.

Calgary Zoo president Clement Lanthier says the facility spent months trying to overcome transportation barriers in acquiring fresh bamboo and decided in May that it was best for the animals to be in China, where their main food source is abundant.

But he says the Zoo hasn’t been able to approve international permits, as the COVID-19 pandemic created changes to import laws and animal quarantine facilities.

Lanthier says the continued travel delay is putting the health and welfare of the animals in jeopardy.

He says the zoo is only able to source fresh bamboo reliably from British Columbia, and that supply is expected to run out in September.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Aug. 5, 2020

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The Canadian Press

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General News

AP source: Biden won’t go to Milwaukee for acceptance speech

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will not travel to Milwaukee to accept his party’s White House nomination because of concerns over the coronavirus.

That’s according to a Democrat with knowledge of the decision who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity to discuss planning.

The move is the latest example of the pandemic’s sweeping effects on the 2020 presidential election and the latest blow to traditional party nominating conventions that historically have marked the start of fall general election campaigns.

Bill Barrow, The Associated Press

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