PONY Coronavirus Resources

In the wake of an outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, PONY Baseball and Softball is taking concerted steps to maintain the first-rate delivery of PONY leagues games, national and international events and World Series experiences for athletes, team personnel and fans. PONY staff, Field Directors and local league affiliates will work in conjunction with teams and leagues and community partners to monitor COVID-19 developments through the World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control (CDC).

As they would when confronting any public health crisis, local league staff will add appropriate safeguards in coordination with local health response teams to address concerns about the virus.

What Members Need to Know

Members have the primary responsibility for ensuring that actionable plans are in place to guide the local response to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 among local league personnel or a related exposure to the virus at local league event. League personnel should reach out to local health care leaders at their respective area to safeguard the well-being of athletes, volunteers and fans attending baseball and softball events.

If local league members have reason to believe that someone associated with the league shows symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they should immediately notify the local league personnel responsible for coordinating with local and state health officials, including public health departments.

When members are engaging with the campus health crisis leadership team about issues that may be specific to their local league, such as the proximity of athletes, coaches, athletic trainers and other medical personnel to one another, here are topics to discuss:

  • Guidance to the league to communicate the policy to all league personnel, including athletes.
  • Confirmation of procedures league members should follow to notify local leadership of a suspected case or exposure to COVID-19, so appropriate governmental notifications can take place as soon as possible.
  • Roster and contact information of individuals assigned to the league’s action or response team charged with responding to medical emergencies or local public health crises.
  • Contact information for local and/or state health departments so local league members can access resource materials.
  • Implementation of a local league policy regarding the triage and clinical management of individuals showing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Coordination of all events with local league leaders and local and/or state health departments if there is a suspected outbreak of COVID-19 in the community.

More Information

For more information on the coronavirus;

Visit the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Coronavirus page . WHO guidance on clinical signs and symptoms and infection prevention and control recommendations are available here

Visit the CDC’s Coronavirus page . CDC guidance on clinical signs and symptoms and infection prevention and control recommendations are available here

As with all information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that may impact the well-being of all league personnel, PONY encourages local leagues to carefully review these materials with applicable institutional health care providers and other relevant league personnel. They should implement any appropriate risk-mitigating initiatives.

What is Coronavirus? 

  • An evolving situation involving an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus
  • The outbreak started in Wuhan, China, but cases have been identified in a number of countries, including the United States
  • The disease caused by this virus has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” or “COVID-19” 

How does COVID-19 spread?

  • The virus is spread mainly from person-to-person
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet)
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes
  • If you haven’t been in an area where COVID-19 is spreading or been in close contact with someone who has been infected, your chances of getting COVID-19 are currently low

Symptoms of COVID-19

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 infection typically begin 2-14 days after exposure
  • Most patients have mild symptoms, including:
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Headache
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle aches
  • A small percentage of patients have more severe symptoms including:
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Pneumonia
  • Older people and those with pre-existing health conditions are at increased risk for severe complications

Current Situation in the U.S. (as of March 9, 2020)

The most recent update from the CDC and public health authorities is:

  • Cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the U.S.in travelers and through person-to-person spread
  • CDC still considers the immediate health risk to be low
  • As of March 9,2020, CDC has reported 556 confirmed and presumptive cases in the U.S. in 35 states
  • 22 deaths in the U.S. have occurred from COVID-19

Prevention and Risk Reduction

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed. The following precautions will limit your exposure and prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Stay home and seek medical treatment when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and throw tissues away
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Regularly use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
  • Be up to date with vaccinations, including the flu vaccine
  • Regularly disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Be cautious with close human contact and interactions
  • Avoid shaking hands or giving high fives
  • Use your own pen or pencil
  • Do not travel to high-risk areas identified by CDC (Level2or3areas)
  • CDC does not recommend that you wear a facemask unless you have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Additional information is available at: www.cdc.gov/COVID19

What to do if you feel sick?

If you are experiencing any early symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Stay home except to seek medical care
  • Contact your local physician 
  • The local physician will determine the need for additional measures (e.g., facemask, seclusion) and the best hospital or facility to be tested and evaluated
  • Continue to practice good hygiene
  • Remember that symptoms are more likely to be from other common viruses