On the same day the global coronavirus crisis was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the Colorado High School Activities Association urged fans who may be at higher risk “to avoid large crowds” with the state basketball championships nearing.
CHSAA Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green wrote in a letter released Wednesday, “Per state guidance, and out of an abundance of caution, we are encouraging those above the age of 60, or those in at-risk populations, to avoid large crowds, as data shows they are more susceptible to contracting the COVID-19, if exposed.”
The Nebraska School Activities Association opted Wednesday to close off its boys basketball state tournament to fans. No cheerleaders, dance teams or band members will be allowed in state venues, although family members will be permitted to attend.
CHSAA has made no such action as of yet.
The boys and girls basketball semifinals and finals across all classes are scheduled to take place Thursday through Saturday. Classes 5A and 4A will be played at Denver Coliseum, 3A at the University of Denver’s Hamilton Gymnasium, 2A in Greeley and 1A in Loveland.
Blanford-Green said Tuesday the association will hold the events as scheduled “unless directed by state agencies and/or facility administration of cancellations.”
Speaking with The Post’s Sean Keeler during last week’s Great 8 in Denver, Blanford-Green said CHSAA would not consider holding its championships before empty arenas.
“I will never conduct a state championship without the parents and the fans being able to celebrate their kids,” Blanford-Green said. “That would not be an option for me, and for the state of Colorado at this point.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, 27 had tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Colorado, according to state officials.