The Buena Vista school district announced March 12 that it would be canceling all district-sponsored out-of-state travel, including the school band's trip to perform at Disneyland in California, due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic.

"District leaders made the decision to cancel student trips for the remainder of the school year and until further notice due to the evolving nature and surging impact of COVID-19 on communities and schools across the country and the world," said district superintendent Lisa Yates in an email to families. "At the time the decision was made, multiple states and cities across the country had declared formal states of emergency due to the spread of the virus, and that number is growing. At this time, we cannot as a school district ensure the safety and wellbeing of students traveling out of state."

Disney announced later in the day that it was closing the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim.

High school and middle school sports have also been suspended until early April throughout the state by CHSSA.

"We apologize for the impact the district decision has made on spring travel plans for students. It is our utmost responsibility to ensure the safety of our students and staff, and at this time, we are unable to uphold that responsibility for students and staff who travel," Yates said.

Concern over the viral respiratory disease outbreak, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization Wednesday due to its pervasive geographic reach, has led to a steady stream of postponements cancellations of large events, from the Coachella Music Festival in Southern California to Broadway shows in New York City and St. Patrick's Day Parades across the country, including in Denver.

The state of Colorado itself was placed under a state of emergency by Gov. Jared Polis earlier this week, and President Donald Trump imposed travel restrictions for 30 days between the United States and 26 European countries Wednesday night.

The states of New York, Oregon, Washington, Ohio and California have enacted bans on large gatherings of people.

The National Basketball Association and National Hockey League have suspended the remainder of their seasons, and the National Collegiate Athletics Association cancelled the March Madness basketball tournament and all winter and spring spots championships. The Professional Golf Association is also banning fans from attending its events, including the Players Championship in Florida, and has cancelled The Masters.

As of March 12, The Colorado Department of Public Health reported 44 presumptive positive cases of the novel coronavirus in the state.

The Center for Disease Control reports 1,215 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States in 42 states as well as the District of Columbia, and 36 deaths.

Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center in Salida confirmed it is testing a staff member reporting symptoms of respiratory illness for both influenza and COVID-19, The Mountain Mail reported Friday.

From our sister paper The Chaffee County Times at www.chaffeecountytimes.com.

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