2020 Boston Marathon Postponed Over Coronavirus Fears

The 124th Boston Marathon has been postponed from April 20, event organizers announced on Friday.

The marathon will now be held on September 14, a press release said.

“On matters of public health and safety we take our guidance from the officials entrusted with protecting the public in this area,” said Boston Athletic Association CEO Tom Grilk. “We understand our role, along with our partners, in ensuring a safe environment for all participants, volunteers, spectators, and supporters that meets the standards set by those officials.”

Additionally, the BAA 5K will also be rescheduled.

The release also said, “Registered participants and volunteers will receive additional information in the coming days. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, further details will be forthcoming.”

The announcement came after the BAA tweeted on Thursday that they were meeting and continuing to “work closely with city & state officials involved in the Boston Marathon.”

“Our collective priority is the health & safety of residents, participants & all who come to MA for this worldwide event. This is rapidly evolving & details will be forthcoming,” the BAA said.

The annual marathon typically attracts more than 30,000 runners, in addition to up to 1 million spectators, Boston.com reported. The race has never been canceled in its history.

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According to the Boston Globe, the decision to move to the fall was in hopes to save some of the positive financial impact the race has for the city. In fact, according to the outlet, canceling the race could lead the city to lose more than $200 million.

The first cases of a mysterious respiratory illness — what is now known as COVID-2019 — began in Wuhan, China in late December. Since then, the virus has spread worldwide, leading the World Health Organization to declare it a pandemic.

At least 127,800 people have been infected with the coronavirus as of Thursday morning, March 12. At least 4,718 people have died. As of Wednesday, March 11, Massachusetts state accounted for 95 of the cases in the United States.

The move to postpone the race comes after the NBA canceled the remainder of the basketball season on Wednesday.

“The NBA announced that a player on the Utah Jazz has preliminary tested positive for COVID-19. The test was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of tonight’s game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena,” the NBA said in a statement shared on Twitter.

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