The 2020 MLB season will be delayed further in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to ban congregations of 50 and more people within the next eight weeks in hopes to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the regular season will be pushed back due to this new factor:

“Today Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. conducted a conference call with the 30 Clubs of Major League Baseball,” the official statement read. Following last night’s newly updated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) restricting events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, the opening of the 2020 regular season will be pushed back in accordance with that guidance

“MLB will keep fans updated on decisions regarding plans for the 2020 schedule in the days and weeks ahead. The Clubs remain committed to playing as many games as possible when the season begins. We will continue to monitor ongoing events and undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts, and urge all baseball fans to follow suit. MLB extends its best wishes to all the individuals and communities who have been impacted by the coronavirus.”

Manfred had previously postponed the progress of baseball operations, putting spring training at a halt and delaying the start of the regular season by two weeks. That predicament has now become a reality, with some teams not expecting to resume play until the summer.

The MLB is still taking the fluid nature of events under consideration, but given how the virus has managed to rapidly spread throughout other parts of the world, one can expect this to be an elongated halt before the 2020 season can begin. Teams are still hoping to play as many games as possible, but the season will almost certainly have to be shortened.