NCAA forms panel to monitor coronavirus outbreaks; NCAA Tournament to be held as scheduled

The NCAA has formed an advisory panel in response to the coronavirus outbreaks across the world as a preemptive response to potentially impactful outbreaks within the U.S. The panel consists of experts in the public health, epidemiology and medical fields, and will serve as a guide as the virus’s spread and impact evolves.

“The NCAA is committed to conducting its championships and events in a safe and responsible manner,” Donald Remy, NCAA chief operating officer, said in a statement released Tuesday. “Today we are planning to conduct our championships as planned, however, we are evaluating the COVID-19 situation daily and will make decisions accordingly.”

The NCAA says it is in contact with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which says that the potential public health threat of the coronavirus both within the U.S. and globally is high. As of now the CDC says the immediate health risk from the virus is considered low for the general public.

“We are actively monitoring COVID-19 in the United States and will make recommendations on competition based on the evolving medical protocols established by the CDC, NIH and state and local authorities,” said NCAA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline.

Thus far there have been nine deaths in the U.S. related to the coronavirus. The virus’s epicenter of the outbreak was Wuhan, China, where nearly 3,000 people have perished because of the disease.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) urged the NCAA this week to seriously consider holding upcoming competitions without an audience present in order to lessen the risk of coronavirus spread and exposure. 

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