News Article Details

Special Olympics of Pennsylvania cancels 2020 Indoor Winter Games due to spread of coronavirus

Patriot-News - 3/6/2020

With recently confirmed cases of coronavirus in both Pennsylvania and Maryland, the 2020 Special Olympics of Pennsylvania has decided to cancel the Indoor Winter Games this weekend.

The events were supposed to take place on March 7 and March 8 in York County. The news of two cases of confirmed coronavirus in Pennsylvania and three in Maryland, officials in touch with all branches of the Special Olympics, officials said they were disappointed to announce the games were off.

"While this news is incredibly disappointing for all of us, the health and safety of our athletes, volunteers, staff and partners is our top priority,” according to a Special Olympics of Pennsylvania statement. "We have been closely monitoring the evolving situation with coronavirus all week, and we have been coordinating with Special Olympics, Inc. and Special Olympics North America, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and various health professionals.”

Prior to the decision, the games were going to be held considering there were no confirmed coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware. That changed within 24 hours, which caused officials to reflect on the population they serve.

"We serve a population where many are at a heightened risk (age, compromised immune systems, and/or medically fragile), and our competitions require people to travel from all parts of the state to convene in venues and engage in sport,” according to Special Olympics of Pennsylvania. "Therefore, we no longer believe that we can prudently proceed with the Games and ensure a safe and healthy environment.”

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