Basketball: Baltimore university bans spectators from games over coronavirus


(Reuters) – Johns Hopkins University has barred spectators from attending the NCAA Division III men’s basketball tournament it is hosting this week because of recently confirmed cases of coronavirus in Maryland, it said on Friday.

The Baltimore-based university is hosting the first two rounds of the tournament but decided spectators would not be permitted based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about large gatherings.

“We have determined that it is prudent to hold this tournament without spectators,” the university said on its athletics website.

“We are not making any determination about other JHU events at this time; while we await further guidance from public health authorities, we will be assessing large events on a case-by-case basis.”

The university also said all three games being played at Johns Hopkins will be streamed live and individuals who purchased tickets will receive a refund.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) will host its high-profile March Madness competition between Division I schools later this month and tournament officials have said they are monitoring the threat of coronavirus.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis


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