Amid growing fears of COVID-19, the the disease caused by the new coronavirus which was declared a pandemic today by the World Health Organization, USA Climbing has announced that they will postpone upcoming competitions. According to a statement on their website, the board of directors voted for the changes on March 10 in order to "protect the climbing community and do our part to limit the spread of the Coronavirus amongst the broader community." USA Climbing lists the following schedule changes:
Open Sport and Speed Championships
"USA Climbing is postponing the Open Sport and Speed National Championships and will seek to reschedule at a later date. We are looking at all options to reschedule the event prior to the start of the IFSC World Cup Lead and Speed season. USA Climbing will reimburse registration costs for all registered competitors."
Youth Sport and Speed Local, Regional, and Divisional Championships
"Effective immediately USA Climbing will not require youth local participation for qualification to Regional Championships. The remainder of the Youth Local Qualifying season is under review, and an additional announcement will be made shortly."
Youth Regional and Divisional Championships
"Currently remain as scheduled; however, USA Climbing will continue to monitor the situation and may take additional actions, up to and including format and rules changes, or cancellation, as necessary."
Paraclimbing National Championships
"USA Climbing will make an announcement in regard to the Paraclimbing National Championships by the end of the week."
Collegiate Regional and National Championships
"USA Climbing will make an announcement in regard to the Collegiate Regional and National Championships by the end of the week."
The USA Climbing announcement follows a number of precautions taken by the IFSC, such as cancelled World Cup events and a postponed Asian World Championship event. The fate of the Olympics is also in question, with a final decision about whether or not the games will be cancelled expected in May.