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Columbus Crew Move Forward With Saturday Game In Seattle Despite Coronavirus Outbreak

Columbus Crew's Artur (right) and Toronto FC's Tosaint Ricketts chase a loose ball during the an MLS Eastern Conference championship soccer match Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio.
Jay LaPrete

Columbus Crew SC executives say the team will not cancel Saturday's game in Seattle, one of the country's hot spots for coronavirus. 

"In collaboration with MLS, Crew SC intends to continue with its match preparation, including travel, in advance of Saturday’s road match in Seattle and will be monitoring the situation as it develops," a team statement says.

The game against the Seattle Sounders will be played at CenturyLink Field. A part-time employee at the stadium recently tested positive for COVID-19. The employee worked at an XFL game on February 22.

In a statement, the Seattle Sounders said they have implemented expanded sanitation procedures, enhanced cleaning treatments to disinfect all areas of the stadium before and after every event, increased hand sanitizer stations throughout the venue and continued staff education and training.

"We are in continuous dialogue with regional health authorities and Major League Soccer, in addition to our network of medical experts," the team said.

The Sounders opened the MLS season at home last weekend in front of more than 40,000 fans.

Basketball teams for Chicago State University and University of Missouri-Kansas City recently cancled upcoming games in Seattle due to coronavirus concerns.

Meanwhile, NPR reported large tech companies including Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are telling employees in the Seattle area to work from home as the business world tries to reduce risks from the spreading coronavirus outbreak.