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Elmira Maple Syrup Festival cancelled over coronavirus pandemic

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WATCH ABOVE: Coronavirus outbreak: Patty Hajdu estimates between 30 and 70 per cent of Canadians will get COVID-19 – Mar 11, 2020

The Elmira Maple Syrup Festival joins the growing list of events that have been cancelled over the global pandemic of the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

Organizers say they made the decision after the World Health Organization declared the current COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Public Health confirms 1st COVID-19 case in Waterloo Region

“After conducting a thorough risk assessment as recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the committee came to the difficult but unanimous decision of cancelling the festival,” chair Doug McLean said in a message posted to the festival’s website on Wednesday night.

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COVID-19 outbreak declared pandemic by World Health Organization – Mar 11, 2020

“The decision made tonight, ultimately, it comes down to public safety,” he said.

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Thousands were expected to attend the event, which was supposed to take place on April 4.

READ MORE: Waterloo Public Health postpones immunization enforcement to prep for COVID-19

Now in its 56th year, it is a fundraiser that supports Elmira and Waterloo Region.

“Our direction is now focused on new ways to support the Elmira community and Waterloo Region this year, as we have always focused on when planning the festival,” McLean said.

The announcement comes on the heels of a pair of tech conferences also pulling the plug on their events.

READ MORE: COVID cases in Canada tracker: How many new cases of COVID-19 today?

On Tuesday, Communitech announced it was cancelling its the True North Festival, while organizers of Fluxible also made a similar announcement.

Both events were to take place over the first week of June.

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