The world’s largest marathon has been canceled due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The New York City Marathon would have celebrated its 50th anniversary in November. But New York Road Runners and city officials have deemed the mass event too risky to hold.
The New York City Marathon normally hosts around 50,000 runners and around 1 million fans, many of whom fly in from around the world to compete and cheer.
The Boston Marathon and Berlin Marathon have also been canceled for 2020, as health experts have warned against mass events and the inevitably of spread should gatherings of that scale be held.
Adding to concerns is the possibility of a second wave of the virus in the fall, which some health experts have predicted.
The New York City Marathon was canceled once before, in 2012, after Hurricane Sandy. That time, however, it was a last-minute decision and many athletes had already flown to New York in preparation for the race before hearing news of the cancelation.
This time, in 2020, racers have significant notice. Participating athletes can request a refund, or defer their entry and choose to race in 2021, 2022, or 2023.
Also on Wednesday, the White House said it will end federal funding for coronavirus testing sites at the end of the month, according to NBC News. This comes as coronavirus cases are spiking around the country.
New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut also announced a quarantine for travelers coming from virus hotspots for 14 days. The joint travel advisory between the three states applies to visitors from areas with significant community spread.
In a press conference, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah, and Texas currently have high infection rates. He said the states the advisory apply to will likely change daily.
There are over 9.2 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 477,000 deaths. The U.S. has over 2.3 million cases with over 121,000 deaths.
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