Virus concerns force cancellation of cross county ski world cup, festival in Minneapolis

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Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is forcing the cancellation of a series of winter sporting events in Minneapolis.

Thursday, the Loppet Foundation stated the Fastenal Parallel 45 Festival, the Coop FIS Cross County World Cup race, and all associated events scheduled for March 14-17 have been canceled.

"We are devastated to announce this cancellation," a statement from the organization read. "In keeping with updated information from the Minnesota Department of Health and after consulting with medical advisors, we are prioritizing the health and safety of our community, fans, athletes, staff and volunteers involved in these events."

Organizers thanked those planning to participate for their understanding and asked for support as they "prioritize our collective well-being."