Atlanta United will take steps to mitigate coronavirus at home opener

Atlanta United will enact several initiatives in light of the coronavirus, COVID-19, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for Saturday’s MLS home opener.

According to an Atlanta United spokesperson, the organization has been in contact with the Georgia World Congress Center, the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization as well as other professional sports leagues.

“We are doing everything we can to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 for all events inside MBS,” the spokesperson said.

Some of the initiatives include:
• Screening all vendors who will be working inside MBS on travel history
• Increased hand sanitizer locations throughout the building
• Increased housekeeping staff stationed in high trafficked areas on event days to ensure surfaces remain clean and sanitized
• Communicating daily with health officials and make necessary adjustments

Atlanta United hosts FC Cincinnati on Saturday after opening the season at Nashville last week.
"We are taking this very seriously and have created an internal task force to gather data and make operational decisions based on that data," the spokesperson said. "We meet several times a week and communicate with our health officials daily. The building has a strict cleaning protocol using the best cleaning products and disinfectants. We have just come off of dirt shows, so the building has undergone a very thorough cleaning ahead of Saturday's match.

The upper level of Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be open for Saturday’s game, meaning a crowd of about 65,000 is expected.

Atlanta United midfielder Ezequiel Barco was asked Thursday if he was concerned about the coronavirus considering the interaction between players and fans on match days, including high-fives during their entrance to the stadium and field. Barco said he was not yet concerned.