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Saskatchewan marathon cancelled over coronavirus concerns

The Saskatchewan Marathon, one of the longest-running marathons in the country, was held Sunday in Saskatoon.
The start of the Saskatchewan Marathon on Sunday, May 31, 2015, in Saskatoon. The 2020 marathon has been cancelled over COVID-19 concerns. Neil Fisher / Global News

Organizers have cancelled the 2020 Saskatchewan marathon due to increased concerns over COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The head of the Saskatoon Road Runners Association (SRRA) said the safety of participants and volunteers is paramount.

READ MORE: Birthday parades being held for Saskatchewan children after their parties get cancelled

“It is important for everyone to do all we can to protect our community and the Saskatoon Road Runners Association believes that this is the responsible choice,” said SRRA president Shona Iverson.

“The health and safety of our runners, volunteers, fans, stakeholders, suppliers and the public at large is always of highest priority.”

This is the first time the annual marathon has been cancelled since it was first run in 1979.

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READ MORE: Saskatchewan RMCP charge 11 suspects for violating public health order

“Our goal is to deliver a fantastic first-class race experience each year,” said race director Kim Ali.

“It is evident that this is no longer possible on May 31 and we are unable to postpone to a later date in 2020.”

Organizers said those who have already registered can visit the Saskatchewan marathon website for options on their registration fees.

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

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

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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. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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