After Governor Kate Brown announced a ban on gatherings of 250 or more people Wednesday night due to growing concern about the new coronavirus, the OSAA announced that their basketball state championships — including the 6A tournament being held at the University of Portland — will continue without spectators.
Only essential personnel, including competing teams, event staff and media will be allowed in the arena itself. UP athletes, coaches, and staff will still have regular access to the weight room, training room and other parts of the building, but the Chiles Center gym doors will be sealed.
The University of Portland and OSAA had originally planned to proceed normally with the tournament, with the Chiles Center having added sanitation stations and Physical Plant taking on more cleaning rounds and updated measures.
“With today’s rapidly changing situation, and in consultation with these groups, the OSAA has made the difficult decision to change its spectator policies for state championship events,” OSAA said in a press release Wednesday night. “Beginning Thursday morning, March 12, per guidance from the OHA and the Governor, only participating students and coaches, essential event staff personnel and media with OSAA-issued credentials will be allowed to attend OSAA State Championship events.”
Several other leagues have taken precautionary measures due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. The NBA suspended their season indefinitely on Wednesday after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The NCAA also announced yesterday that the NCAA tournament will be held without spectators.
The MLS also confirmed Thursday morning that they would suspend their season for 30 days while all NCAA Power Five conferences cancelled their conference tournaments.
The number of confirmed cases grew to 21 in Oregon yesterday after two residents at a veteran’s nursing home in Lebanon on Wednesday.
Kyle Garcia is the sports editor for The Beacon. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.