ATLANTA — March Madness will culminate in Atlanta this year, and as the coronavirus spreads and U.S. health officials warn the public to prepare, the NCAA says it is keeping a close eye on the situation.
USA Today reports that the NCAA Sports Science Institute issued two memos to schools outlining steps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend for being prepared.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the Atlanta-based CDC has said "disruption to everyday life may be severe" in the event of a U.S. outbreak.
The NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments begin on March 17. The men's Final Four is in Atlanta, while the women's Final Four is in New Orleans.
"NCAA staff continues to prepare for March Madness," Chris Radford, a communications official with the organization, told USA Today, "but we are keenly aware of coronavirus and will continue to monitor in coordination with state/local health authorities and the CDC."
The Final Four is set to be played the weekend of April 4 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
So far, the CDC has confirmed only a handful of cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the U.S. so far.
The newest case was confirmed in Northern California on Wednesday. It may be the first instance in the U.S. of transmission to a person who had not traveled anywhere internationally or had contact with anyone known to have the illness.