One coronavirus case has sent the cards crashing in Indian Wells. The WTA Premier Mandatory and ATP Masters 1000 tournaments have been called off. The Indian Wells tournament is seen as one of the biggest tournaments outside of the Grand Slams.
The Riverside County Public Health Department has declared a public health emergency for the Coachella Valley after a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) locally.
“There is too great a risk, at this time, to the public health of the Riverside County area in holding a large gathering of this size,” said Dr. David Agus, Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. “It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighboring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak.”
“We appreciate the proactive stance tournament organizers are taking to ensure public health and safety,” said Martin Massiello, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Eisenhower Health.
“We are very disappointed that the tournament will not take place, but the health and safety of the local community, fans, players, volunteers, sponsors, employees, vendors, and everyone involved with the event is of paramount importance,” said Tournament Director Tommy Haas. “We are prepared to hold the tournament on another date and will explore options.”
It remains to be seen what will happen with the Miami Open which is due to start on 25 March.
As of Saturday, 16 Florida residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including five Florida cases that have been repatriated from elsewhere and a non-Florida resident, according to Florida’s Department of Health website.
“We’re past the point of containment,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration during the first two years of President Trump’s administration, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“We have to implement broad mitigation strategies. The next two weeks are really going to change the complexion in this country. We’ll get through this, but it’s going to be a hard period. We’re looking at two months, probably, of difficulty,” Gottlieb said.