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Houston Astros make changes to spring training autograph sessions amid COVID-19 concerns

The organization told all personnel, including players and coaches, to avoid shaking hands.

HOUSTON — The Houston Astros organization is changing the way players greet fans and sign autographs during spring training amid COVID-19 concerns.

In a statement posted on the Astros’ Twitter page, the organization has advised all personnel, including players and coaches, to avoid shaking hands with fans.

As far as autographs are concerned, fans who get vouchers to attend the Sunday autograph sessions during spring training will no longer be able to bring personal items for players to autograph. Instead Astros players will sign a team provided item.

“Fan photos or items other than the team provided item will not be accommodated,” the statement read.

In addition, players will pre-sign items and distribute them to fans periodically before and during the game.

The organization said they are taking these precautionary measures out of an abundance of caution and encourage fans to practice good hygiene to help prevent the spread of the virus.

RELATED: Coronavirus: What Harris County health officials say about RodeoHouston, Spring Break

RELATED: The latest: Florida health department announces 2 coronavirus deaths

Harris County health officials stressed the risk for people to get infected with coronavirus remains low following two new presumptive positive cases and one confirmed positive case popping up in the Houston area Friday.

In Fort Bend County, two women in their 60s tested "presumptive positive." In Houston, a woman between 60-70 tested positive, bringing the total number of Houston-area cases to eight. 

Officials believe all these cases are tied to the same trip to Egypt and say there is no evidence of community spread.

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