The Ivy League is canceling its 2020 conference basketball tournament over fear regarding the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. On Tuesday, March 10, the conference announced that they will be canceling the tournament in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Both the men’s and women’s conference tournaments have been scrapped after medical professionals cautioned against large group gatherings.
Because of the cancellation of the conference tournaments, the regular-season winners will advance to the NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments. For the men, that means Yale is going to the Big Dance, while the Ivy League women will be represented by Princeton.
All tickets for the Ivy League Basketball Tournaments will be refunded in full.
“We understand and share the disappointment with student-athletes, coaches and fans who will not be able to participate in these tournaments,” Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said in a statement. “Regrettably, the information and recommendations presented to us from public health authorities and medical professionals have convinced us that this is the most prudent decision.
“Following a number of league-wide discussions throughout the last several weeks, we have decided to exercise caution in the interest of student-athletes, fans, and the general community.”
In the United States, coronavirus cases have topped 700 across 34 states with 27 deaths — most of the deaths in the state of Washington.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in China, it has now reached many countries around the world including the United States. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.