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Houston Astros change autograph signing process out of caution for coronavirus

WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 18:  Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros signs autographs for fans during a team workout at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on February 18, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 18: Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros signs autographs for fans during a team workout at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on February 18, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) (2020 Michael Reaves)

HOUSTON – Saturday, the Houston Astros announced changes to their autograph signing process during Spring Training.

“Out of an abundance of caution, all Astros personnel, including players and coaches, have been advised to avoid shaking hands and/or exchanging items (i.e. pens, balls, jerseys, etc.),” a statement from the team read.

Players will pre-sign items and distribute them to fans periodically before and during games.

Fans attending “Spring Training Signature Sundays” can no longer bring an item of their choice to be signed. Instead, Astros players will sign only a team provided item, according to the statement.

The change comes amid growing COVID-19 outbreak concerns.

There are 8 cases of the virus in the Houston area. Officials said Friday they do not believe the virus has spread to the community at large, and there have been no fatalities in the area.


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