UPDATE: Playing to Empty Stands | SPHS Sports Events on Schedule with No Spectators

South Pasadena High School Athletic Director Anthony Chan made the announcement Thursdays as the public grapples with concerns of the coronavirus where at least 1,400 cases and 37 deaths are confirmed in the United States

FILE PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | SouthPasadenan.com News | SPHS Athletic Director Anthony Chan

As of Friday, March 13:

All SPHS CIF athletic training and competitions will be suspended during this time effective immediately.

Original article published Thursday, March 12:

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South Pasadena Athletic Director Anthony Chan described it as “business as usual without fans” in talking about the latest efforts to keep residents free of coronavirus, which is increasingly raising concerns both locally and worldwide.

Chan explained on Thursday that spring games in the Rio Hondo League will continue to be played without spectators for an indefinite period of time. It’s effective immediately, said the SPHS AD.

The mandate is in an effort to protect individuals from the deadly disease. “It’s a league-wide decision,” said Chan, regarding athletics in baseball, softball, boys’ golf, boys’ tennis, badminton and track and field.

Protecting fans on a professional level, the NBA has suspended its season, the NCAA pulled the plug on March Madness, MLB called off spring training, Major League Soccer will suspends action for 30 days, U.S. Soccer called off games through April, and the NHL stopped action on the ice. 

There are at least 1,400 confirmed cases and 37 deaths as a cause of coronavirus in the United States. The World Health Organization on Wednesday officially declared that the outbreak is a pandemic and in California, health officials recommended schools move from virus containment procedures to a mitigation approach.

As a result, the South Pasadena Unified School District is postponing or canceling all public events that bring large groups of students, adults, and community members together.

In a statement to parents, Superintendent Geoff Yantz said alternate approaches to events, which limit close contact, may include conducting assemblies via intercom announcements or conducting events online.

“At the moment, no individuals within South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) have tested positive for COVID-19,” wrote Yantz on Wednesday, “however, noting two or more community transmission cases in Los Angeles County were discovered, stressing, SPUSD will take proactive steps to ensure the safety of our students and staff.”

And now fans who might want to take in a game involving South Pasadena High teams.

Yantz said the local school district is committed “to keeping our families safe and updated about changes as we navigate this uncertain period of time, and we continue to work with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to help prevent or contain COVID-19. We appreciate your support.”