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Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny in Port Hope cancelled amid coronavirus concerns

Competitors float down the Ganaraska River during the annual Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny in Port Hope in March 2019. Global News Peterborough file

Coronavirus concerns have sunk plans for the 40th annual Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny event in Port Hope, Ont.

The popular event on the Ganarasaka River features hundreds of people who build their own watercraft to float in the 10-kilometre race. The event commemorates the destructive flood that ravaged downtown Port Hope in 1980.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Municipality of Port Hope discourages residents from attending council meeting

This year’s event was scheduled for April 11.

There has been one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Northumberland County, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit said on Friday night.

“In keeping with the guidelines recommended by the federal and provincial governments to practise social distancing, and to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 regionally, the organizers have made the very difficult decision to cancel Float your Fanny Down the Ganny for 2020,” stated co-chairs Barry Adamson and Barrileigh Price.

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“Nobody is as disappointed about this decision as our organizing committee that puts in so much to make it an event that the town and its residents are so proud of. However, we all need to do our part to keep our town, its residents and visitors safe and healthy over the coming months.”

The organizers will be issuing refunds to all participants, sponsors and vendors who have registered online.

“To our knowledge the race has never cancelled, yes postponed, but not cancelled,” the co-chairs stated.

“So, we will have to make the 40th event in 2021, a bigger celebration and we promise the water will still be cold.”

Click to play video: 'Thousands watch Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny in Port Hope' Thousands watch Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny in Port Hope
Thousands watch Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny in Port Hope – Apr 13, 2019

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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