Reports: Seattle to ban gatherings of 250 or more

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday will announce a ban on gatherings and events of more than 250 people in virtually the entire Seattle metro area to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus, according to multiple reports.

The ban will include sporting events and concerts, according to The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Dragons host the Los Angeles Wildcats in an XFL game Sunday at CenturyLink Field, and the Seattle Sounders of MLS aren’t home until March 21.

The Seattle Mariners open their MLB season at home against the Texas Rangers on March 26.

It wasn’t immediately clear how long the order would last or if it would extend to other parts of the state. Spokane was scheduled to host the first and second rounds of the 2020 NCAA men’s basketball tournament on March 19 and March 21.

It’s also unknown how teams would handle the reported ban. Options could include playing elsewhere, postponing games or playing in front of limited audiences.

The order would not prohibit the operation of workplaces and was not expected to include school closures, The Associated Press reported.

At least 24 people in Washington have died from the coronavirus, most of them in the Seattle metro area.

Late last month, Inslee declared a state of emergency over the virus outbreak. There are more than 260 confirmed cases in the state, most of them in the King, Pierce and Snohomish counties that would be affected by Inslee’s new order.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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